The real estate industry suffered an epic crash in the late 2000s, but 2013 was clearly another strong year for South Baltimore real estate. This year, large projects were announced, started and later completed. Home renovations were also seen on almost every block (for example, in the case of the 1800 block of Light St. alone, five homes in a six-home cluster were rehabbed!)
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest real estate projects and news from 2013:
Mayor Rawlings-Blake Unveils Plan to Cut Property Taxes: Outside of parking, nothing is more loathed in South Baltimore than the property tax rates in Baltimore City. Mayor Rawlings-Blake is implementing a $.50 (per $1000 of value) property tax break over the next 10 years thus lowering the rate from $2.268 to $1.76. Most jurisdictions in Maryland are around $1.00.
Riverside Wharf Under Construction: This Key Hwy. project, which will be completed in Spring 2014, will feature a 14,000 sq. ft. Walgreens, 25,000 sq. ft. of office space, and a 150-car parking structure. Caves Valley Partners plans to soon announce a tenant that will lease more than 20,000 sq. ft. of the office space.
Carriage Shop Renovated in SoBo: Building Character performed a terrific renovation of a historic building at 37 Birkhead St. in South Baltimore that used to repair and build horse-drawn carriages for years. After a very short time on the market, the property sold for $910,000.
Five Light St. Buildings Renovated in Federal Hill: Five Light St. buildings, which included ten apartments and three retail spaces, were renovated in the heart of the Federal Hill Business District. Zeeba Lounge remained in one of the retail spaces and the other retail spaces currently remain vacant.
Harbor Square Completed: Ten new townhomes were constructed and sold at the corner of Light St. and Marshall St. This development epitomized rising values as the first home sold for $385,000 and the final home of the same model closed at $449,900.
2 East Wells Begins Construction: This new development continues the revitalization of Wells St., joining 101 Wells and 1901 South Charles. Chesapeake Realty Partners, who also developed 1901 South Charles, got underway on 2 East Wells this year and hopes to have it completed and open by late Fall 2014. The development will feature 153 apartments, 6,000 sq. ft. of retail and a 260-car parking garage.
Continued UM BioPark Redevelopment: The University of Maryland Baltimore is nearing completion on their new $200 million, 110,000 sq. ft. Proton Treatment Center at 850 W. Baltimore St. in SoWeBo at the University of Maryland Bio Park. The facility has also landed a 44,000 sq. ft. lease with Cambridge Innovation Center for a soon-to-be-built building at 873 W. Baltimore St.
Thirteen Townhomes Underway at Race and Fort: Preliminary construction began on a 13 townhome project at the site of a former church and vacant lot bordering Fort Ave., Race St. and Clarkson St. The townhomes are expected to start in the $400,000s.
1200 Ward Under Construction: Construction is underway for Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake’s 1200 Ward development in Pigtown. The 18 homes, which were constructed on a vacant lot, are available to buyers who have completed the Habitat for Humanity application and volunteer process. The Ravens have been a sponsor of this project.
Five New Homes Planned for 40 E. Randall: Five new townhomes are planned for the site of a 5,600 sq. ft. warehouse at 40 E. Randall. The warehouse has been demolished and construction on the homes is expected to begin in the near future. Update 12/30: Infrastructure work began today.
1201 South Charles Street Underway: 16 new apartments and first floor retail is planned for the former Lutheran Mission property at 1200 S. Charles St. The existing buildings have been demolished and construction is expected to begin in 2014.
Horseshoe Baltimore Under Construction: Baltimore’s first casino, Horseshoe Baltimore, is under construction in between Warner and Russell St. in the Camden Carroll Industrial Area. Hoping to open in the fall of 2014, the $400 million construction project is making great progress. The 4,000-car parking garage has risen to six stories and the casino building has taken shape with walls and windows currently going up.
Camden Crossing Continues: After a multi-year delay, construction has resumed at Pigtown’s Camden Crossing. Two new buildings featuring 13 new townhomes were recently completed, making 129 of the 150 homes in the project finalized with another seven homes currently under construction. Camden Crossing is looking to finish the community in its entirety by end of next year.
Plans Revealed for 900 E. Fort Ave: Locust Point-based Solstice Partners is planning a new $80 million mixed-use project at 900 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point at a former General Electric site. They are proposing a nine-story mixed-use building including 275 apartments, ground floor restaurants and retail, a rooftop restaurant, and a two-and-a-half level parking garage. Construction is expected to begin in late Summer 2014.
Plans Announced and Later Dissolved for Michael’s at 1000-1006 S. Charles: A 4,000 sq. ft. Michael’s Cafe was planned for the vacant properties at 1000-1006 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. However, Michael’s ended their pursuit of this project after failing to reach a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the surrounding neighborhoods. Developer Jake Ruppert is expected to reveal new plans for the site in the near future.
Plans for a New Hammerjacks Announced: As redevelopment is expected to heat up in the area surrounding the new Horseshoe Casino, the first new project has been announced – a $20 million Hammerjacks music venue and sports bar at Lot N. Construction is expected to begin in in early 2014. Space at Lot N has also been reserved for future use as a boutique hotel.
Key’s Overlook Underway: Infrastructure construction has begun at Key’s Overlook, a 53 new-construction townhome development surrounding Silo Point in Locust Point. Townhomes will start in the high $400,000s.
National Aquarium Environmental Demonstration Area Underway: The National Aquarium is reclaiming a 12.2 acre brownfield on the Middle Branch and turning it into a public park. The area will be transformed into a conservation demonstration park and will feature habitats for migratory birds and native insect populations, a recreational pier and a network of trails. They are aiming to open the park this spring and are also considering eventually moving their animal care center to the parking lot at the site.
1500 South Charles Redevelopment Planned: Green Door Properties is planning three new townhomes and the renovation of three existing rowhomes at the site of a former church on the 1500 block of S. Charles St. The property is currently going through the subdivision process with Baltimore City. Green Door is hoping to start the project in the spring of 2014.
Five Townhomes Planned at McCully-Polyniak Property: Green Door Properties, Ray Jackson and Steve Moore are partners in the redevelopment of the recently-sold McCully-Polyniak Funeral Home at 130 E. Fort Ave. The existing building will be torn down and developed into five new townhomes. They are currently going through the subdivision process with Baltimore City and construction is expected in Q1 of 2014.
New Plans for the Pabst Castle?: Once slated to be the home of a brewery and brewery pub, the castle is currently under contract with a buyer hoping to use it as office space, keeping Bumper Globe in place on the western end of the building. SouthBMore.com will keep you posted as more develops.