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McHenry Row office building, hotel, get design panel approval

McHenry Row developer Mark Sapperstein received approval Thursday from the city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel for an office building and Courtyard Marriott hotel planned for the 20-acre South Baltimore site.

The office building will be smaller than originally proposed — four floors instead of six — to address concerns about vehicle and foot traffic in the project area, which already includes a Harris Teeter grocery, apartments, restaurants and retail, said Sapperstein of 28 Walker Development. A 223-unit apartment building will open in September, adding to existing traffic.

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The new plan also eliminates a level of ground-floor parking in the building, filling the space instead with 15,000 square feet of retail or office space.

The 64,000-square-foot warehouse-style building connects to an existing 600-space parking garage, which will be shared with the soon-to-open apartment building and hotel.

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Plans for the eight-floor, 126-room hotel remained largely unchanged.

While greenlighting the project's design, the panel asked Sapperstein and his design team to seek solutions to minor issues raised by panel members, such as whether Marriott would consider adding more windows to the front facade of the hotel before presenting the project to the city's planning commission.

Construction is expected to begin this fall, with the office building's first tenants moving in about a year later, Sapperstein said. The hotel's timeline will likely lag by a few weeks, he said.

The panel also reviewed a revised master plan for the second phase of another 28 Walker Development project, Canton Crossing.

The second phase of the Canton shopping center calls for 86,250 square feet of retail space, occupied by Nordstrom Rack, Petco and other retailers that have yet to be named.

Sapperstein and design team BCT Architects and Kimley Horn were asked to come back to the panel with plans to address concerns panel members expressed about parking and pedestrian safety.

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