No, Winter Didn't Stop Development in Baltimore!
While I hibernated throughout much of the cold, icy winter, developers broke ground on projects large and small throughout the city. Beatty Development is building Exelon's headquarters on Harbor Point, pictured here. The building will include 443,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space and 103 apartments. Ultimately, Harbor Point will include 9.5 acres of public open space, including a waterfront park and promenade, a hotel, over 900 residences, 1.6 million square feet of class A office space, and 200,000 square feet of retail space. It's big.
Right around the corner from Harbor Point, the Four Seasons is adding 63 condominium residences - the Four Seasons Private Residences Baltimore - on top of the hotel, pictured here in front of the Legg Mason tower. The hotel debuted in 2011 and boasts one of the hottest happy hour spots in town, Wit & Wisdom. The gorgeous waterfront setting in bustling, sophisticated Harbor East is a perfect complement to the quality of service, attention to detail and superior amenities for which the Four Seasons is renowned.
Sagamore Development Company, LLC, is wasting no time preparing the 100-year old Recreation Pier in the heart of Fell's Point into a 128 room luxury hotel. Right now, they are reinforcing the pier structure so that it can bear the weight of the new construction. Guests of the hotel will find themselves in the midst of a charming, vibrant historic district, filled with one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and bars, as well as easy access to the water taxi and other waterfront destinations.
Visit soon - you may fall in love!  P.S. This happy, hopeful statement is on the side of Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum at the foot of Federal Hill.

Barclay's Turn for Some Revitalization

While much of Baltimore's development boom centers undeniably on waterfront neighborhoods, downtown, and several other hot spots such as Hampden, many other parts of Baltimore are also experiencing a notable renaissance. Telesis is building and/or renovating approximately 320 homes in central Baltimore's Barclay neighborhood, shown above. I love the cornices and the deep red color of the brick.
Residents of Barclay have easy access to Penn Station, the Station North Arts & Entertainment District, downtown Baltimore via the #8 bus line, Mother Seton Academy, a tuition-free middle school, and the Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School.
Though this photograph isn't particularly good, I included it to illustrate how the new homes (on the right) seem right at home adjacent to existing homes (on the left).
With a mix of apartments and town homes, both for rent and for sale, this development will serve people with a range of incomes, consistent with the goals of the city and the community. All of the homes incorporate environmentally-friendly building elements, and many are ADA-accessible as well. 
While all of the homes are handsome, I am particularly intrigued by the end unit with the turret. Good night from Barclay!

Cool Places to Hang Your Hat

Dog washing station, anyone? The pet-friendly 520 Park apartment building, a historic Hochschild Kohn warehouse in Mount Vernon, offers this unique feature as well as bicycle storage, a gym, lounge, demonstration kitchen and much  more. Each of the 171 apartment homes has high ceilings, tall windows, high end finishes and historic details. Some of the homes boast large terraces, providing their lucky residents with enviable outdoor space, while other homes sport balconies. Tenants - most of whom are new to Baltimore - are drawn to the building's location in a walkable community with good transit options and easy access to schools, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, shopping, and cultural venues. In fact, very few residents own cars, preferring to get around by other means. When the urban retail marketplace opens in the ground floor of the building, residents will find even more to love about their new home.
The 153-unit apartment building, 2 E. Wells, is well underway in South Baltimore.  Residents of the building will live within walking distance Riverside Park, home of many sports leagues, the restaurants, shops and nightlife of Federal Hill, and the Charm City Circulator Purple Route.
Key's Overlook, 53 new town homes featuring "sky dens" and roof decks, is under construction in Locust Point, immediately adjacent to the stunning, award winning Silo Point, a historic grain elevator converted to luxury condos with an industrial-chic vibe and dramatic views. In 2009, Silo Point received the best high-rise project in the Americas by International Property Awards. In this photo, you can see Key's Overlook at the end of the street.

Nice corner windows!
The brand-new Jefferson Square at Washington Hill sits in the shadow of Johns Hopkins' east Baltimore campus, so naturally, Hopkins students and staff are a key target audience for this 304-unit building, which features outdoor courtyards complete with pool, fireplace and grills, a media room, business center, fitness center and more. Some of the apartment homes boast views of the harbor, and loft floor plans are available. Residents can walk to the restaurants, shops, and nightlife of Fell's Point and venture farther afield by taking advantage of the area's many transit options including the Circulator, JHU Shuttle, Metro and bus lines, or the on-site Zip Car station.

Progress on Development Projects Along My Running Route
A run around the harbor and waterfront neighborhoods always yields exciting progress reports on development projects.  I originally showcased 400 E. Pratt Street several months ago here.  The installation of the glass helps to give a much better sense of how this two story addition will make this block of Pratt Street much more interesting and attractive.  Of course, with Shake Shack planning to occupy part of the first floor, the 400 block of E. Pratt Street promises to become one of the hottest destinations in town!

Farther east, in the midst of Harbor East, Little Italy, and Fells Point, the 208-room Harbor East Hyatt Place, which I first mentioned in this post, is expected to welcome its first guests in fall 2014.  Guests will have easy access to the shops, restaurants, and nightlife of these three very different neighborhoods, as well as the attractions of the waterfront and Inner Harbor.  Baltimore's free Charm City Circulator now makes it easy for visitors to explore neighborhoods and hot spots far beyond the immediate vicinity of the hotel, such as Mount Vernon, Station North, Federal Hill, Fort McHenry, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

The Marketplace at Fells Point, originally highlighted here, shows off its new/old storefronts.   This photo depicts the west side of Broadway; the east side has progressed even more quickly, with Unleased by Petco opening on July 7.  The Marketplace at Fells Point offers 159 studio, one and two bedroom apartments, some of which are available for immediate occupancy, and 28,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in the heart of Fell's Point, one of Baltimore's most historic, eclectic, and lively communities.  Residents will have access to amenities such as a rooftop deck, courtyard with fire pit, and fitness center in the restored "Fell's Point Comfort Station," and they will receive ZipCar discounts.  The developer clearly knows the market, as more and more people who live in the city want a car-free or at least car-lite life!

Construction Update on Projects in Locust Point, Inner Harbor, and Harbor East

Crews are putting the finishing touches on Locust Point's Riverside Wharf, which includes Walgreens, Medstar Prompt Care, and two stories of medical offices.  The handsome building takes its architectural cues from Baltimore's brick industrial buildings, and a portion of the building (not pictured) curves around the corner of Key Highway and Lawrence Street, making the most of the high profile site.

Harbor East Hyatt Place will bring 208 hotel rooms and 13,260 square feet of retail and restaurant space to one of the hottest locations in town: the confluence of Fell's Point, Harbor East, and Little Italy.  The developer has already announced two tenants, Nando's Peri Peri and Cava Mezze, which will serve Portuguese and Greek-influenced cuisine, respectively. 
To the delight of many, the owners of 400 E. Pratt Street recently announced that Shake Shack committed to opening its first Baltimore location on the ground floor of the two story addition currently under construction.  The much-anticipated addition will help to create a more seamless flow of retail and restaurants along Pratt Street, as the building sits between the Gallery at Harborplace and 600 E. Pratt, home to Marshalls and Fogo de Chao, among other crowd pleasers.

Rotunda Redevelopment in Hampden

Built in the 1920s, the Rotunda has long housed offices, small shops, a grocery store, and a movie theater.  However, given its underused parking lots and location in trendy Hampden, the Rotunda clearly has potential to bring even more energy to the community in terms of new residents and a greater mix of stores.
Enter Hekemian & Company, the developer renovating and retrofitting the existing structure and transforming the surface parking lots into 150,000 square feet of new retail space, 382 apartments, and a parking garage.  MOM's Organic Market leads the roster of new tenants, to the delight of many devotees of this environmentally-friendly grocery store.
Residents in this block of colorful row homes will soon have new stores to walk to in their neighborhood, in addition to the appealing mix of independently-owned shops and restaurant already thriving on the Avenue located just several blocks south.

Another shot of the construction shows the original building in the background Hekemian expects to finish the work in summer 2015.
The artsy/environmentalist vibe of Hampden extends far beyond its epicenter on The Avenue to these homes closer to the Rotunda, where residents paint their homes in a rainbow of colors and ride their bikes on even the coldest, iciest days.  This major new investment in Hampden confirms what many have known all along: the artists, environmentalists, and small business owners (and others - I certainly don't intend to exclude anyone who has had a hand in the transformation of Hampden) have created a very desirable place to live.

The Artistic Transformation of the Once-Industrial Jones Falls Valley

Once a center of industry, the Jones Falls Valley is now the epicenter of adaptive reuse of historic mill buildings in Baltimore.  The recently restored Union Mill houses 56 apartments, 25,000 square feet of office space for non-profit organizations, and a fantastic coffee shop.  More on the coffee shop in a minute.  Developer and owner Seawall Development offers discounts for teachers both here and at its Miller's Court apartments in Remington, as a way to "honor educators" by providing them with quality affordable apartments where they can live among like-minded individuals.  Both properties also feature amenities for teachers, such as copy rooms, and waiting lists!
Artifact Coffee is the centerpiece of Union Mill and a beautiful spot for coffee, espresso, tea, breakfast, lunch, or dessert. 
Artifact Coffee also features a market wall, where one can purchase products made by the owners' Woodberry Pantry, such as Snake Oil Hot Sauce (good with oysters, I'm told) and Caramel Apple Sauce.
Restored in 1990 and on the National Register of Historic Places, Meadow Mill once housed the London Fog factory.  Today, a variety of artisans, offices, boutique businesses such as Mouth Party Caramels, the Stone Mill Bakery wholesale operation, and the Meadow Mill Athletic Club call Meadow Mill home.  Meadow Mill, Union Mill, and Clipper Mill (featured below) are all easily accessible to downtown Baltimore via the light rail, and are within walking distance of Hampden.
Baltimore has a cadre of creative and talented professionals who can really make these mills shine, from the architects and designers to the developers and the contractors.  Many tenants, too, display exemplary artistry within their spaces, from small creative touches to lighting that perfectly captures the romance and excitement of a special occasion dinner, such as at Woodberry Kitchen in Clipper Mill (pictured above).  While it wins accolades for outstanding food (such as one of Bon Appetit's Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America in 2009), "WK" also offers diners a rustic yet sophisticated atmosphere. 
Like most of the restored mills, Clipper Mill attracts a lot of artisans and businesses in the creative industries.  Corradetti Glass makes a statement with its sign painted directly onto the historic brick.
Clipper Mill also includes condominiums (pictured here) and town homes. 
Located just south of the Clipper Mill, Union Mill, Meadow Mill area, Birroteca is one of the hottest restaurants in town.  As mentioned in a previous post, the upscale yet recognizable Italian food (think prosciutto bruschetta, saffron risotto, and mussels pizza), festive atmosphere, and craft beers make Birroteca a "must visit."  Multiple times. 
Mill No. 1, the most recently restored mill building in the Jones Falls Valley, offers 92 unique apartments (with large windows, high ceilings, water views, reclaimed wood counter tops, and many with original hardwood floors).  The water views are no joke.  Seriously.  Check out their website.
Developed by Terra Nova Ventures, Mill No. 1 will soon offer two restaurants without waterfront seating.
Though not a former mill, the Stieff Silver building deserves recognition in this post as a former manufacturing plant transformed into great office space about ten years ago.  You cannot see it in this picture, but the lights on the sign letters are red and green, in honor of the holiday season.  How spirited!
The Mill Centre building has housed a mix of tenants - again, mostly engaged in creative pursuits, from architects and writers to craftspeople - since its 1987 renovation.
Located farther north than the other mill buildings in this post, the Mt. Washington Mill also deserves a mention, due to the broad commercial appeal of its tenants, particularly Whole Foods and Starbucks.

Developed by Himmelrich Associates, Mt. Washington Mill also houses offices and specialty shops, such as Wine Works and Amazing Glaze. 

The Mount Vernon Development Boom Continues with More Residential Projects and a Luxe Hotel
WRH Property Holdings is converting this handsome building at the corner of Charles and Mulberry into 18 apartments.   Located at 344 N. Charles Street, the building sits in the midst of a diverse selection of restaurants (residents can dine on Thai, Indian, Turkish, Irish, great deli food, unique pizzas, and classic American fare without leaving the block) and is on the Charm City Circulator's Purple Route, which will give future residents easy access to Federal Hill and Penn Station.
At the south end of the same block, PMC Property Group is transforming this lovely building into 92 rental homes and 4,000 SF of retail/restaurant space.  The details on the facade of this building, particularly the floor-to-ceiling windows (or are they doors?) on the second level, have elegance to spare.  In addition to the excellent restaurant selection and ready access to the Charm City Circulator, residents of this building also benefit from its location across the street from the Fresh and Greens grocery store. Part of the joy of City living is picking up dinner on the way home from work, whether take-out or ingredients for a home made meal. 
This dog is going to have a lot of new neighbors.  Developer Daejen is creating 56 new apartments in this c. 1912 gem at 11 E. Chase Street.  Residents of the Algonquin Apartments will benefit from a location convenient to Penn Station, Peabody Conservatory, and the cultural institutions and restaurants of Mount Vernon, not to mention a short walk to downtown Baltimore.
With its 18 fire-lit suites ensconced in a magnificent mansion originally constructed as a private home,The Ivy Hotel will most certainly raise the bar for boutique hotels in Baltimore.  I took this picture a couple of months ago, and while it is hard to see the building underneath all of the scaffolding, I think the extent of scaffolding speaks volumes about the quality of the restoration.  The Ivy will open its doors in 2014. 

Homes and Offices Sprouting up Near Hopkins and South Clifton Park
Massive real estate development projects, such as Harbor Point, Canton Crossing, and the 88-acre East Baltimore redevelopment project near Johns Hopkins, garner a lot of press (deservedly so) but tell just a portion of Baltimore's redevelopment and revitalization story.  Wander around a bit and you will discover a great variety of renovation and redevelopment projects transforming neighborhoods and commercial districts all over town, to a bit less fanfare.   I feature three such projects here, all near the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus.  Nearly complete, this 50,000 SF office building developed by My Son Development sits at the corner of Orleans and Washington Street, immediately adjacent to Johns Hopkins.
Baltimore's historic buildings provide tremendous opportunities for adaptive reuse, and for people to live in homes with distinctive charm.  Here, The Woda Group is transforming Public School No. 99, originally built in 1891 and on the National Register of Historic Places, into The Columbus Apartments, 50 affordable homes in South Clifton Park. 
The future residents of these luxury apartments - Phase I of Jefferson Square at Washington Hill - will benefit from the on-site gym, theater, and outdoor courtyard with swimming pool.  The Jefferson Apartment Group is in the midst of constructing the 300+ unit green building, which also includes approximately 21,000 square feet of retail space.  A future phase of Jefferson Square is expected to include another two hundred apartments. 
Jefferson Square is located just one block from the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, which you can see in the background of this picture, and a short walk to the Baltimore metro, Charm City Circulator, and Fell's Point, providing easy access to jobs, shopping, and entertainment.  

The Greenmount Avenue Renaissance
Redevelopment and revitalization is not limited to the waterfront neighborhoods.  This series of pictures documents a small portion of the revitalization around Greenmount Avenue in the Johnston Square and Greenmount West neighborhoods, as well as the Station North Arts and Entertainment District.  The Baltimore Design School, a high school for the applied arts (think graphic design, fashion design, and architecture) will move to its new home in a former garment manufacturing building this fall.

The soon-to-be-widely-recognized view of the Baltimore Design School from Guilford Avenue.

The 74-unit Lillian Jones Apartments, developed by the French Companies, opened in spring 2013.

The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) renovated these row homes, which are located just west of Greenmount Avenue.

The row homes are located next to the Baltimore Design School.

TRF also developed the City Arts building, which includes studios, 1- and 2 bedroom apartments geared to artists, on-site bicycle parking, and a flexible gallery space.  To the left of City Arts, you can see new TRF-built row homes.  Within one block, you can choose from apartments, new row homes, or renovated row homes.

The Station North Tool Library, pictured here, is a fitting use for a community increasingly attractive to artists, DIY enthusiasts, and others who simply appreciate affordable access to tools, skills, and a work space.

A New Era for Central Avenue

Developer Larry Silverstein is almost finished transforming the Fallsway Spring building on Central Avenue.  into offices for Groove Commerce, a website design, production, and maintenance company, and a restaurant space.  Central Avenue runs north from Harbor East behind Little Italy and has only recently become a development hot spot. 
By Degrees Cafe will open in the Fallsway Spring building in September 2013, showcasing the culinary talents of Omar Semidey, a chef whose resume includes The Wine Market and Fleet Street Kitchen.  By Degrees sounds like it will be a little bit more casual than these two fantastic restaurants, but no less tasty.
I lived in Little Italy when the the Canal Street Malt House condos opened, so the renovation and expansion of the Canal Street Malt House building occurred before 2005.  I used to sit on my roof and look at the building, thinking about what a good redevelopment opportunity it presented ... thank goodness that someone with the means and talent felt the same way!  The Canal Street Malt House is located at the corner of Exeter and Central.  Residents have ready access to the charm of Little Italy and the sophistication of Harbor East, while Fells Point, the Inner Harbor, and Downtown are just a short walk away. 

Coming Soon to Mount Vernon: Apartments at 520 Park
Time Group is converting this former Hochschild Kohn warehouse into 171 luxury apartments right down the street from the Walters Art Gallery, the Maryland Historical Society, light rail, and all of the restaurants, bars, galleries, theaters, and shops of Mount Vernon.
520 Park also includes new construction and retail space.  Eager apartment hunters will be able to move in during the summer of 2014.

Two of Fell's Point's Newest Development Projects

Fell's Point has long been known for its historic commercial district's great mix of restaurants, bars, and shops, but it is also a very popular neighborhood in which to live.  This picture is of a recently completed and sold out development project, MerchantPoint.  This developer has more projects in the works, so don't despair if you want to buy a similarly classy urban town home.

The Marketplace at Fells Point, located in the 500 and 600 blocks of South Broadway, will feature 160 apartments, 26,000 SF of retail and restaurants, and a parking garage.
As you can see here, the developer is incorporating the historic facades into the new construction.  Since historic charm is part of Fell's Point's appeal, this is a wise move.

Downtown's Apartment Boom

More and more people want to live downtown due to its proximity to jobs, restaurants, shopping,  entertainment, and the downtown farmer's market, as well as its walkability and transit access. A developer is in the final stages of converting this c. 1928 bank building into The Lenore, a 102-unit apartment building.
Another developer is working diligently to transform this gorgeous building at 10 Light Street into 445 apartments, whose residents will also have easy access to the Harbor (which is a favorite for early morning jogs and dog walks), the farmer's market, and transit options including the Baltimore Metro and free Charm City Circulator.
A third developer is adding a couple of stories onto this building and creating a total of 70 apartments at 521 St. Paul, which may technically be in Mount Vernon but is a short stroll to downtown. 521 St. Paul is close to Mercy Hospital and the fantastic bars, restaurants, and culture of Mount Vernon.

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