An apartment project has been proposed for the Little Italy site of the controversial former restaurant and nightclub Milan.

With about 30 units, the proposed six-story building at 1000 Eastern Ave. is far smaller than one now under construction on the former site of Della Notte and others planned or recently constructed just blocks away in Harbor East or downtown.


But the developer hopes it’s a welcomed addition for the close-knit community that has long hosted bocce tournaments, festivals, movie nights and a collection of family-owned eateries.

“We want the project to be something good for the city, good for us and good for the neighborhood,” said Sean Shahparast, a partner on the project, who declined to offer more specifics on costs or construction until the building gains city approvals.

“We want to make sure it complies with neighborhood requests,” he said.

He and architects from Arcon Design presented the project to Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architectural Review Panel on Thursday, a crucial step in the city’s planning process. The panel offered positive reviews for the plans.

The restaurant, Milan, which closed in 2014, ran afoul of the neighborhood when it began offering live entertainment. A judge for the District Court in Baltimore City agreed it violated its zoning by operating as a nightclub.

The building was last sold in 2007 for $900,000 and is assessed for tax purposed at just under $600,000, according to city land records.

Shahparast has been seeking to replace the restaurant with apartments for at least three years. Community representatives in Little Italy did not respond to request for comment.