Baltimore developer Zahlco expects to break ground this summer on a 65-unit apartment building on what is now a parking lot at 9 E. Mount Royal Avenue.
The proposed structure's modern look could complement the design of the University of Baltimore School of Law's building known as the John and Frances Angelos Law Center across the street. Zahlco aims to complete it by April 2019.
The project is one of several in Zahlco's pipeline as the 5-year-old development company builds its portfolio of mid-sized properties in downtown Baltimore.
Zahlco's construction business has been around for more than a decade and about five years ago launched an urban development arm with an initial goal of developing between eight and 10 properties in up-and-coming downtown neighborhoods, said Yonah Zahler, the company's founder and CEO.
So far, the firm has completed four: 16 E. Biddle Street, 917 St. Paul Street, 613 Portland Ave., and the Congress Hotel Apartments. All are owned and managed by Zahlco.
Five blocks away, Zahlco plans to complete another at 824 N. Calvert St. by September 1.A former garage, the building has an industrial feel, with big multi-paned windows, concrete floors and antiqued brass fixtures.
About half of the 50 apartments are leased so far, Zahler said.
Zahlco expects more retailers to move into the ground floor next to Iggies, a pizza shop that was an existing tenant.
Zahlco is targeting young professionals looking for unique spaces that won't break the bank. One bedroom units typically cost between $1,300 and $1,600 a month, Zahler said.
"Everyone wants to live downtown. They want to live in the city," Zahler said. "We brand ourselves that we build quality, creative, unique properties in the area."
Back on Mount Royal, Zahlco is renovating a four-story building, built in 1920 at 11 E. Mount Royal Avenue, to include a third-floor incubator. The incubator will have 25 offices and a shared board room, lounge and kitchenette.
Zahlco plans to market the space to startups, nonprofits and companies whose employees often work remotely and don't require full-sized offices.
Other office space not occupied by existing tenants also will be renovated.
Renovations will be completed in the next three months and the incubator is expected to open in 45 days, Zahler said.