Design panel approves Locust Point townhomes

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore’s urban design panel on Thursday approved a developer’s request to build townhouses on land in Locust Point that had been slated for residential towers and a mixed-use complex.

The two parcels, on either side of the Silo Point condo building, will have about 50 townhouses divided between them, according to plans presented to the panel by the architects for Mark Sapperstein, the developer of McHenry Row.

The decision to build townhomes instead of taller residential office buildings was a reaction to market demands and input from the community, which would prefer shorter structures on those sites, Sapperstein said.

Construction could begin as early as next fall. Prices have not been established for the townhomes, he said.

The plans presented to the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel call for 54, three-story townhouses with rear-access garages. Each home will also have rooftop space.

The townhouses would be a maximum height of 35 feet, and be roughly 20 feet wide by 40 feet deep, according to a representative from Beazer Homes, which is designing the residences. Engineering consultant and architecture firm STV Inc. is handling the master plan for the two roughly 1.5 acre site, which abut industrial railroad tracks.

“It’s a dramatic change from what was originally approved” for the property, Planning Director Tom Stosur told the panel, explaining the developer’s decision to decrease the density of construction on the two oddly shaped parcels. “The product that they’re showing is very much in demand.”

The townhomes are more traditional in character than the modern, glass-and-metal Silo Point building, according to Beazer’s preliminary renderings. These early drawings showed the townhomes as being sided with a combination of brick, stone and wood. Vinyl siding was shown along the back of the townhouse groups.

In part because of the architectural differences between Silo Point and the townhouses, the three-member panel encouraged the development team to create meaningful buffer zones between the condo structures and the low-rise residences. Doing so may require a reduction in the number townhouses planned, the panelists said.

The panelists requested a second review of the site plans, which will also need approval from the Planning Commission. 

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