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Apartments planned for historic Gay Street building

A historic Baltimore building will be converted to 130-to-140 apartments.

A historic federal building in downtown Baltimore that sold at auction this summer will be converted to 130 to 140 apartments, the buyer said.

PMC Property Group submitted the winning $8.2 million bid for the U.S. Appraisers' Stores building in July. The deal is expected to close soon, said Steven Bloom, the Pennsylvania company's local operating partner.

Bloom said the firm expects to start conversion of the 103 S. Gay St. building quickly, completing the renovation in nine months to one year. The plan extends the trend of residential conversion, tying downtown to Harbor East, he said.

The building, which has a historic exterior and lobby that must be preserved, is in good shape, he added.

"It's a concrete building built in the '30s that you can't replicate today with any kind of cost efficiency," he said.

PMC Property Group owns and manages more than 1,000 apartments in the Baltimore area, including about 700 in the city. Earlier this month it announced plans for about 280 apartments in the 300 Saint Paul Place office building, which it purchased for about $20 million.

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