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The Real Estate Wonk
Baltimore's residential real estate and commercial development news
Student apartments, retail, restaurants planned for Charles Village

Student apartments with retail, restaurants and parking could soon rise on a vacant lot in the heart of Charles Village, developers and Johns Hopkins University officials announced Wednesday.

The 1.1-acre lot is a block from campus, and Hopkins officials believe the development will strengthen ties between the university and the Charles Village neighborhood. Hopkins President Ronald Daniels has said that bolstering neighborhoods around the university is a key goal.

The developers — Virginia Beach-based Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. and the Beatty Development Group — have planned a 12-story building with 157 student apartments and 31,500 square feet of commercial space on the lot at the southwest corner of St. Paul and East 33rd streets. The building, which will be slightly taller than the adjacent Blackstone Apartments at Charles and East 33rd streets, will wrap around a parking structure with 162 spaces for apartment tenants and the public.

The project needs approval and...

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Designs unveiled for new Harbor East apartments

A towering, white, modular-looking apartment complex could be the newest addition to the Harbor East waterfront, filling a Central Avenue parking lot with nearly 350 residences and a block of shopping.

The roughly $100 million proposal by H&S Properties Development Corp. and The Bozzuto Group calls for 291 apartments, 49 condominiums and roughly 60,000 square feet of retail on the block bordered by Central Avenue and Aliceanna, Lancaster and Eden streets. The building also would contain an interior parking garage, a pool and other amenities.

The parking lot, the former home of Baltimore Contractors Inc., sits on the edge of ritzy Harbor East. Its development would push that high-density neighborhood toward Fells Point, plugging a gap between Ouzo Bay restaurant and the Eden apartment building.

Preliminary designs by Washington-based Hickok Cole Architects show a complex that would top out at about 280 feet, slightly shorter than the Legg Mason tower a few blocks west, said Bozzuto...

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Work on Recreation Pier hotel could begin next month

Sagamore Development Co. LLC, which is planning to turn Fells Point's historic Recreation Pier into a 128-room hotel, hopes to start work on the project next month, the project manager said Tuesday.

Sagamore, a development firm controlled by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Chevy Chase developer Marc Weller, received approval Tuesday from the city's historic commission to start removing panels from the roof of the pier structure. The approval is a key step to allow the team to start some demolition and begin driving new piles into the water to support a new pier structure.

The main brick building, which fronts Thames Street, is be restored and converted into a hotel lobby, with a restaurant, bar and ballroom inside. 

But the current pier, where the hotel rooms would go, is rotting, architect Todd Harvey of BHC Architects LLP said at a meeting of the city’s commission for historical and architectural preservation.

Sagamore plans to rebuild the structure, adding large windows and...

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New Inner Harbor skyscraper gets design OK

A new Inner Harbor tower that would be among the tallest in Baltimore received design approval Thursday, with one member of the city’s architecture panel describing the project as an “elegant, sophisticated building that’s exciting for Baltimore.”

Plans call for a roughly 500-foot-tall blue glass tower located at the corner of Light and Conway streets downtown. The $140 million building would rise 44 stories, with 392 luxury apartments, 12,500-square-feet of ground floor shopping and a 477-space parking garage open to the public.

Amenities for residents are to include a 7th-floor dog park and a 35th-floor library.

Chicago-based architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz stripped the building of exterior patterns proposed previously, creating a “much stronger building than what we saw last time,” said Richard Burns, a member of the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel, which approved the plan with comments.

Stephen Gorn, CEO of developer Questar Properties, said he hopes to begin...

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City gives design go-ahead to mixed use development on former PEMCO site

The city’s design panel on Thursday approved a master plan for a large mixed use development in East Baltimore opposite the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

The proposal by developer MCB Real Estate LLC calls for two buildings along Eastern Avenue: a six-story apartment building, with ground floor retail and an interior courtyard, and a smaller, one-story shoppping structure, with a large 250-spot parking lot farther east. If market demand is strong, MCB could create a taller mixed-use site in place of the smaller building.

Farther south in the site, the developer plans an 85,000-square foot building for an anchor tenant, such as a supermarket or pharmacy, and a hotel. A 110-spot parking lot allows for additional development.

The project would be built in phases, which have not yet been finalized, said project manager Caroline Paff. A minimum $50 million investment is expected.

Earlier plans drew criticism from members of the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel, who said...

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Belair Edison Crossing shopping center sells for $12.3 million

A Florida business bought the Belair Edison Crossing shopping center for $12.3 million this week, a deal that suggests strength in the city’s retail investor market, the broker for the transaction said Thursday.

“It’s a significantly sized deal in Baltimore City,” said Gil Neuman, managing director of Greysteel Co. “I think there’s a new sort of … revival, so to speak, of Baltimore, which is being seen nationally as a desirable place to invest.”

The 16-acre Belair Road property last sold in 2003 for $4.7 million, according to reports at the time. City officials heralded the transaction, which involved plans for a $10 million upgrade they said would help spur revitalization of the area.

The site today is 100 percent leased, with tenants that include Food Depot, Dollar General and the Social Security Administration.

The previous owners, 2401 Belair LLC, a venture that included Owings Mills-based Black Oak Associates, decided to sell to collect on the value added to the property, said...

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