A Baltimore developer plans to build a new residential neighborhood in South Baltimore’s nascent Port Covington area on the site of a former industrial plant.
Mark Sapperstein said his 28 Walker Development closed on the 26-acre property Thursday.
A neighborhood to be called Locke Landing at Port Covington will be built on the site of the former Locke Insulators manufacturing plant, according to the parent company of Rockville-based DRB Homes.
DRB Homes said it has been tapped by Sapperstein to construct town houses for the waterfront neighborhood, which will include an apartment building, town homes, a community pool and trails. The homebuilder plans to start next summer.
DRB Homes plans to build 103 town homes that are 16 feet wide, 152 town homes that are 20 feet wide, and 42 town homes on the waterfront that are 24 feet wide. DRB’s news release did not include designs or pricing plans.
Sapperstein said another homebuilder is planning to construct 92 additional town homes and the real estate developer Greystar is planning a 420-unit apartment building.
As of Tuesday morning, public land records did not show that the property had been sold or for how much, but in June the city of Baltimore issued a permit to subdivide the property and construct rowhomes.
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Sapperstein said he closed on the property Thursday, using an LLC he owned called Insulator Drive LLC, but he declined to disclose the sales price.
According to state records, the 26-acre property at 2525 Insulator Drive in Port Covington was most recently assessed at about $8 million. The site is on the northern bank of Patapsco River’s middle branch, next to Nick’s Fish House and near the massive mixed-used development currently under construction in Port Covington.
This former manufacturing site, like all of Port Covington, is covered by an enterprise zone, a place-based property tax credit intended to revitalize economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Sapperstein said he plans to pursue that tax credit, plus brownfield tax credits. The brownfield program is meant to spur investment in areas where industrial contamination has discouraged development.
“I have so much remediation at the site to do,” Sapperstein said. “It’s got a lot of cleanup.”
Used together, the brownfield and enterprise tax credits would wipe away nearly all the property taxes owed on new developments for a decade.
Sapperstein said site preparation, meaning demolishing the current structure and building roads and sewer infrastructure, will likely cost $20 million to $25 million. He declined to name a total price tag on the development, which he expects will take three to four years to complete.
Locke Insulators Inc. shuttered the manufacturing plant in 2017 and laid off 108 employees, citing dwindling demand for its electric utility insulators. The factory made porcelain station post insulators used by electric utilities to control the flow of electric current through electrical wires.