The developers of The Winthrop, one of two luxury apartment buildings planned for the 900 block of Dulaney Valley Road in Towson, said at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday that the first 295-unit building could be completed in 12 months.
For a project that plans countless amenities and is aiming for the highest environmental certification possible, it's a timetable that seems as ambitious as the building plans.
"We could not be more proud or more excited about The Winthrop, or the opportunity to bring the latest in luxury apartment living to the new, re-energized and vibrant Towson," Lawrence Macks, co-chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Realty Partners, said at the groundbreaking. Chesapeake Realty Partners is working with Wood Partners and Bernstein Management Corp. on the project.
Chesapeake Realty Partners and Wood Partners purchased the property, which housed the Dulaney Valley Apartments, last fall. The site was previously slated to include the second phase of the adjacent Quarters apartment complex, but the current developers took over and updated the plans with new designs.
When Winthrop developers announced that demolition had begun, they said the second building, which will contain 195 units, would begin construction once the first building is completed. The buildings will boast complimentary designs, but will operate separately, developers said.
A handful of single-family houses still stand along Locustvale Road, but the two buildings will envelop the rest of the block between Dulaney Valley Road, Southerly Road and Locustvale Road.
Macks said the building's new design would feature countless amenities, including a lounge area in a lobby, a residence club featuring a coffee bar and library-style lounge, a fitness center featuring cross fit training and a yoga room, and a sound-isolated room for musical performances and movie screenings.
"We're not aware that anyone has something like this, and we think it will be used heavily," Macks said.
The apartments themselves will feature 9-foot ceilings, granite countertops, large closets and stainless steel appliances, Macks said.
"All of this will be built in an environmentally sensitive manner. We're proud that we received, at our 1901 S. Charles St. building downtown, the first LEED Gold certification for a wood-constructed apartment building in Baltimore," Macks said. "We aim to achieve similar status here at The Winthrop."
Macks said leasing could begin as early as late spring or early summer 2014, just as some of Towson's other developments are completed.
"Our best location feature is that we're within walking distance, a bike ride or a short shuttle bus ride to all the places that make Towson so great," Macks said.
In his remarks during the groundbreaking, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz noted much of the recent development nearby, from the offices at Towson City Center to the future entertainment, dining and fitness options at Towson Square and Towson Commons.
He said a best-in-class residential option is "what we need to make the synergy work with the employment base and with the retail and entertainment options we have in downtown Towson."
"If you think about all of these things, these are businesses, these are entertainment venues, and they need people to come to them," Kamenetz said. "That's why this particular project is so important."
Councilman David Marks, who represents the 5th District including Towson, praised the developers for their communication with the neighbors. At a Design Review Panel hearing in March, nearby residents urged the developers to consider their privacy and requests when construction began. Marks said they have.
"I just want to thank you and everyone who worked with you … for engaging the community and being good neighbors," Marks said.