We at Federal are driven by a passion to create places that enhance the communities and people we serve. We seek to innovate, build uplifting partnerships with community members, and go beyond the typical role of a commercial real estate company by keeping social responsibility at the forefront of what we do.

Along with environmental initiatives, charitable partnerships and community programming, placemaking is an important component of our community engagement strategy. For Federal, placemaking means creating places that provide a sense of belonging and happiness for those who visit. One example of this commitment is Makers of Maryland, a marketplace of Baltimore-local small businesses and artisans at THE AVENUE at White Marsh. The project’s continued success is a testament to the value of investing in the people and areas we serve.

THE AVENUE has long been a fun destination for the people of Baltimore to gather, play, shop and dine. Leasing team efforts created a unique atmosphere with a mix of national retailers, service providers and locally owned restaurants, but when a 10,000 square foot former Pier 1 space stood empty in the spring of 2020, senior marketing manager Lisa Geiger had an idea.

Seeing how small businesses were being hit hard by the pandemic, Lisa reached out to Stephanie Persichitti, who runs the Instagram account @MakersofMaryland, an online collective that features the works of Maryland artists and creatives. Federal previously partnered with Persichitti to bring a small holiday pop-up market in the winter of 2019 and had plans for more collaborative projects that were derailed amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19. Undeterred, Persichitti worked with Federal to bring a marketplace of over 50 brands to a brick-and-mortar home at THE AVENUE.

Upon opening their doors in May of 2021, Makers of Maryland provided an outlet for people to come together and support local business. Featuring locally created murals, jewelry, paintings and more, the concept provided a springboard for small business owners, artists and creators to build brand recognition, gain a following, and learn from one another.

The pop-up shop was such a success that Persichitti will continue her partnership with Federal, with plans to have 70 creators in THE AVENUE space by winter and to expand to Federal properties in Philadelphia and Boston. Now able to work full-time on what began as an online passion project, Stephanie Persichitti continues to uplift and support local creators in a space that brings people together and contributes to the entire community’s well-being.

Makers of Maryland is an example of our dedication to the communities we serve that we are especially proud of. It is a reminder of our symbiotic relationship with the people and cultures around our centers, and of how partnerships with local business can help us both thrive. With our specialty leasing initiatives, we hope to continue to foster collaboration, innovation and growth with local businesses.

If you are interested in partnering with Federal to bring your business to one of our centers, please leave us your details and we would be happy to start a conversation.