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Baltimore Rising: Series of Large Apartment Building Projects in Store for Downtown

modern apartments with a blue sky

More contemporary apartment buildings are in the works for Baltimore. Plans for two projects were presented last week Thursday to the city’s design review panel.

The Time Group is moving full steam ahead on constructing a 153-unit modern apartment building located on a parking lot at 500 Park Avenue, right next to the Hoschild Kohn warehouse the developer converted into apartments last year. The $29 million Mount Vernon project will include 140 parking spaces, roughly 4,000 square-feet of retail space, and a swimming pool. Time Group development director Dominic Wiker said the firm is hoping to break ground early next year.

Rendered by Alexander Design Studio in colors reminiscent of the black and white Brookshire Suites downtown, the building plans cleared the first of many hurdles though some panelists posed questions regarding the “heaviness” of the bridge that connects to the pool. Reviewer Richard Burns said he would have liked to have seen more windows and is concerned some of the architectural details were simply made “just for the sake of being different.”

The immediate success of Time Group’s previous 520 Park project was a motivating factor for the developer’s current project, Wiker said. Last year, 520 Park reached 100 occupancy between 2014 and January — a fact which inspired the developer’s decision to create an entirely new, yet similar project.

In an effort to cater to the younger, millennial demographic that quickly leased up 520 Park, Wiker said the residential units of Time Group’s current project would lean strongly towards being one-bedroom and studio apartments. Also, rental rates would similar to those of 520 Park, Wiker added, where a one-bedroom can be rented for $1,300 or $1,400 depending on square footage.

On average, millennials move more often than any other age group within the U.S., with two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 18-29 saying they have relocated within the past five years. The trend of using millennials as a means of revitalizing a metro area is popular one in many cities across the United States.

Once completed, the development will also include slightly more than 4,000 square feet of standalone retail space on Park Avenue and Hamilton Street. The one-story space can be subdivided and tenants will be similar to those found at 520 Park, Wiker said.

Baltimore’s Federal Hill also has apartment construction plans in the works. The Bainbridge Cos. recently presented plans for a 225-unit apartment complex at 1100 Key Highway, across from Digital Harbor High School. Initial designs completed by Hord Coplan Macht depict a large-windowed building that towers eight stories above Key Highway, with stoops and roughly 235 parking spaces.

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