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New firm eyes apartments on Key Highway site

New firm eyes apartments on Key Highway site
A developer wants to build roughly 225 apartments opposite the Digital Harbor High School. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun)

Apartment developer Bainbridge Companies said Tuesday it plans to build roughly 225 apartments opposite the Digital Harbor High School, reviving discussions of development on the Key Highway site after an earlier plan fell through.

Bainbridge Companies has the narrow, vacant lot, located at 1100 Key Highway, under contract from Richard Swirnow of Harborview Limited Partnership as of roughly three weeks ago, said Josh L. Wooldridge, a Bethesda-based senior development director for the firm.

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The company, which outlined its proposal to the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association last month, owns and manages about 16,000 apartments in five states and Washington. This would be its first project in Baltimore.

"We think it's a great neighborhood," said Wooldridge, citing its walkability and proximity to amenities.

A 305-unit proposal for the site fell through last year, after the Baltimore Development Corp. in August denied a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes sought by Arizona developer Alliance Residential Co. Design review panelists also had raised concerns that the new building would block the high school.

The project is eligible for a citywide 10-year property tax credit for market rate apartment projects.

Wooldridge said the design is still in the works. Bainbridge is working with architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht, which also was involved in the earlier proposal.

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