Nest of a former Oriole

The Baltimore Sun

Hall of Famer and former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer wanted something a bit different when he was looking for new digs in the city a couple of years ago.

"It's a unique apartment. It's worked well for me," Palmer said of his two-level condo in the Canal Street Malt House at the edge of Little Italy. It put him a short walk from many of his favorite restaurants and near the O's, for whom he's been a color analyst. "It's very tranquil."

The loft-style condo in the reborn structure - it was built in 1866 to store malt for the city's growing brewing industry - has a modified industrial look with exposed ductwork and huge windows. Natural light warms the earthy tones of the woodwork, walls and floor.

Palmer and his wife, Susan, customized the penthouse-level unit with many upgrades, including designer lighting and concrete countertops with a worn look. They got a surprise in one counter, courtesy of its fabricator: two baseballs were cast into the master bathroom vanity top.

About the house : The condo, which Palmer bought new in 2006, has one bedroom, two full bathrooms and one powder room. Wood - stained red oak floors, thick beams and a vaulted pine bedroom ceiling - adds natural elements to the home that has a floating metal staircase and painted brick walls.

"I'm only here 50 days a year," the former ballplayer said, and it's likely he'll rent or buy another place in Baltimore. The couple spends the rest of their time in Florida, where Susan Palmer has her Palm Beach store, Island Home, and in California, where her son, who is autistic, is in school.

Address : 1220 Bank St., Unit 404, Baltimore 21202

Asking price : $1,095,000

Taxes: $1,900, with transferable historic tax credit. Condo fee: $292 per month

Size: 2,480 square feet

Features: The main floor has a cathedral ceiling. The open kitchen features stainless-steel appliances and textured concrete countertops. The backsplashes on the combination island and breakfast bar are glass tile. An office area can be enclosed as a bedroom, with an adjacent walk-through closet lined with built-ins, and a full bathroom. Upstairs, the large master suite includes a sitting area; its outfitted walk-through closet leads to a bathroom with a soaking tub.

The unit has two metal-plank balconies with views of the city. Included is one garage parking space below the building. Many of the unique furnishings, which Palmer described as "an eclectic mix," also will be for sale.

Listing agent : Cindy Conklin, 410-727-0606, and Angela Vavasori, 443-865-1278, of Yerman Witman Gaines & Conklin Realty in Baltimore.

To submit a candidate for Desirable Spaces, send photos and a description of the property to Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, Real Estate Editor, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Questions may be sent to

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