The team at Obrecht Commercial Real Estate worked to keep as much of the original architecture and design of the former Gunther Brewery as possible.
Courtesy of Kettler Management The team at Obrecht Commercial Real Estate worked to keep as much of the original architecture and design of the former Gunther Brewery as possible.
Taking a piece of Baltimore history and blending it with a deep appreciation for locally brewed beer was the recipe for a successful reuse project.


The Gunther, a 162-unit adaptive reuse project, focused on transforming a former brewery into a class A apartment community.

The team at Obrecht Commercial Real Estate worked to keep as much of the original architecture and design as possible. Since the project was funded in part by historic tax credits, It was important to get the reuse project on the National Register of Historic Places, says developer Wells Obrecht.

The Gunther Brewing Company was once Baltimore’s second largest brewery before being bought by Hamm’s Brewing Company in 1960 and then halting operations in 1978.

“It’s more interesting to live in a place that has history and a story,” he says. “There’s a certain soul to this building and it was important, good to bring that to life.”

Carefully selected details from the brewery’sMinneapolis Apartment Renovation Helps History Shine" href="http://www.multifamilyexecutive.com/apartment-renovation/minneapolis-apartment--renovation-helps-his..." target="_blank"> history were incorporated into the design of the new community and while many things may look like industrial factory finishes, some of the décor is fully functional. An old holding tank was redesigned and restored to house an air filtration system and will help the project achieve LEED Gold certification.

Solar panels account for all of the power in the parking garage and about 90 percent of the space inside the building is situated with daylight for energy savings.

Each unit has a unique design dependent on what part of the old factory it was built in and each building of the community has a special name such as “Pilsner”, “Ale” and “Barley”. Meanwhile each common area and small nook in the community features historical objects such as bottles and knick-knacks from the company’s history.

Exposed original brick, historical photos and advertisements were also used as décor throughout the building.

The Gunther, which was completed in early 2014 and is almost fully leased, is part of the Brewers Hill revitalization plan. Many buildings in the area have been restored to become offices and housing which surround a new mega-retail center.

Lindsay Machak is an Associate Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak.