Project Announcement New Markets Tax Credit

Revitalization of Historic Packing House Unlocks New Opportunities for Cambridge, MD

Written By: Lauren Wilcox

WASHINGTON, DC, February 15, 2024:  The historic Phillips Packing Company Factory F building, a cornerstone of industrial prowess in Cambridge, Maryland, constructed in 1920, is embarking on a new chapter as the Packing House, thanks in part to a $5 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation from the National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC). The second and final phase of development, totaling nearly $10 million in project costs, will complete the tenant and site improvements necessary to support the growth and activities of the new and incoming organizations within.

A Legacy Reimagined at the Packing House

The Phillips Packing Company was once the global leader in canned tomato production, as well as one of the primary employers for Cambridge residents. Its legacy of community support and employment opportunities continues through the Packing House project. Revitalization efforts have transformed the historic factory into a vibrant space for emerging entrepreneurs, workforce development, and aquaculture, ensuring the tradition of innovation and community enrichment lives on.An image of the inside of the revitalized Packing House building featuring an open concept space where people can meet and collaborate.

Development efforts were led by a partnership between Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners, a renowned real estate firm dedicated to rebuilding communities through innovative and sustainable urban development, and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, a nonprofit organization founded to protect Maryland’s Eastern Shore natural habitats and guide sustainable development for the surrounding communities.

“This building’s transformation is not merely about preservation; it’s about redefining its role in our community’s future,” stated Bill Struever, Lead Developer of Cross Street Partners. “Thanks to NTCIC’s support and New Markets Tax Credit allocation, we are setting a new course for the Packing House as a center of innovation and community engagement.”

Diverse Tenants Leading Innovation and Growth

“This was a miracle of a revitalization effort in many ways,” noted Tony Maruca, Project Manager of NTCIC. “The project originally appraised for less than half of the total project costs, but Cross Street Partners rallied public and private support to make it happen. I commend the development team for their incredible effort and success in bringing this impactful project to life.”

With site work complete, the LEED Gold-certified Packing House will serve as a vibrant ecosystem for a diverse group of tenants, each providing employment, growth, and educational opportunities for the surrounding community.

The building has become the new and expanded headquarters for Blue Oyster Environmental, a leader in sustainable oyster farming practices that contribute to the health and wellness of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Packing House is also a new MERGE location, offering collaborative workspaces that foster innovation among startups and small businesses. Additionally, it is now the home of a Community Engagement Center operated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, where individuals can participate in programming dedicated to housing opportunities and professional training.

It will also soon house Four Eleven Kitchen, which will operate an incubator to nurture the culinary talents of food entrepreneurs and provide a platform for them to grow and thrive.

The Sustainability of Building Reuse

All of this and more will take place in the newly revitalized Packing House, which has been awarded LEED Gold certification for meeting high standards in energy efficiency, water conservation, and material reuse.

It is projected that the restored Packing House will conserve 148.9 MWh of electricity each year, equivalent to the amount of energy used when burning 120,000 lbs. of coal. The project is expected to complete the construction of the remaining tenant spaces in mid-2024. Future development of the area includes the creation of Cannery Park, a new ‘central park’ for the City of Cambridge that will incorporate spaces for active and passive recreation.

For more information on the community and economic impacts of the Packing House development, click here.


National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC), a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is among the most active tax credit syndicators in America. The organization supports the country’s architectural heritage, community development, and renewable energy initiatives through high-impact state and federal tax credit investment services.

About Cross Street Partners

Cross Street Partners is a vertically integrated real estate company with a mission to rebuild communities through vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods and specializes in the adaptive reuse of historic properties, sustainable design, and transit-oriented development.

Image Credits: Patrick Ross Photography