The development firm overhauling an industrial area near Baltimore's sports stadiums expects its first new building to open this spring, with others not far behind.
Sharp-Leadenhall could see about 100,000 square feet of new office space open by the end of next year as part of the $275 million Stadium Square redevelopment, said developer Arsh Mirmiran of Towson-based Caves Valley Partners, which marked a construction milestone by topping off its first office building on Wednesday.
The firm expects to complete a $19.5 million, six-story office building at 145 W. Ostend St. by the end of March, Mirmiran said. The firm also has started demolition at the former Vac Pac building at 150 W. Ostend St., a 30,000-square-foot building the firm plans to convert into offices and a restaurant, with the hope of reopening it by the end of 2017.
A few blocks north, Texas-based Hanover Co. is on track to open its first apartments by the end of May, finishing the building by the end of the summer, Mirmiran said.
Mirmiran said the next project to break ground will be a community center on the grounds of the Leadenhall Baptist Church.
The firm also is working with the city on a plan for Cross Street Market, as well as additional city-funded investments in the area's infrastructure and the Solo Gibbs park. It also has started planning for another large apartment building and an affordable housing project for veterans, which would involve the affordable housing developer AHC Inc. and Baltimore Station.
The firm is negotiating with tenants for the office buildings and hopes to be largely leased once it opens, he said. An earlier agreement with United Way to occupy the new, six-story, 72,000-square-foot building fell through.
Mirmiran said he is confident the firm will find tenants, pointing in part to an agreement with the city that will allow it to tap into existing dark fiber — unused, high capacity fiber optic data lines — in the city's conduit system to connect with a nearby TierPoint data center. Mirmiran said that also gives tenants a choice of more providers, a perk likely to matter to firms using large amounts of data.
"We think this is a big edge because those companies get real benefit out of having high capacity, high speed broadband service," Mirmiran said.
The city expects to spend about $1 million improving infrastructure in the area, ensuring that water and sewer lines, and other utilities, can handle the added development, Baltimore Development Corp. President Bill Cole said.