305-Unit Apartment Building Proposed for 1100 Key Hwy.

| March 21, 2014 | 6 Comments

482788_554199877952916_943180137_nSouth Baltimore has seen a surge in real estate development in the last couple years with 598 residential units in the pipeline, but the area could be getting its largest residential project yet. Alliance Residential Company, a real estate team based out of Phoenix with a local office in Washington, DC, is proposing a 305-unit Class-A apartment building at 1100 Key Hwy.

The property is in the Key Highway neighborhood, adjacent to the Federal Hill neighborhood, and will be a part of the Key Highway Waterfront Master Plan, which was created in 2008. This will be the second project of the new master plan, coming after Riverside Wharf.

“We are looking to grow in the Mid-Atlantic and we were really excited about the employment growth we’ve seen in Baltimore,” said Luke Phillippi of Alliance, which has been involved in real estate for 13 years and has developed more than 25,000 housing units.

The property is more than a block in length and will sit in between Digital Harbor High School on Covington St. and the HarborView Community on Key Hwy. The last evidence of a building on the property was seen in historical pictures from the early 1900s when a thin brick building stood across from the Bethlehem Steel ship repair yard that is now the site of HarborView.

Plans for the project were presented on Thursday, March 20th at the Enoch Pratt Library in South Baltimore by Christopher Harvey and Beret Dickson of Baltimore architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht. The plans were also recently presented at the Key Highway Neighborhood Association.

The project features a three-level, approximately 305-car parking garage that will sit on the first three levels of the building. The garage will have one access point on Key Hwy. and two access points on Covington St. Since Covington St. sits up the hill from Key Hwy., the first two levels of the parking garage will be hidden from Covington St. with a screen likely covering the third level. The Key Hwy. side of the garage will be covered by apartment units.

The building will be nine stories high and there will be a set-back on both sides for floors four through eight. The ninth story will be set back as well and will be home to the amenity space. The height of the project will be 105 feet, which is the most allowed in the master plan and about the same height as Digital Harbor. Exterior designs are still in the preliminary phases, but they are hoping to include elements of the area’s history into the interior and exterior design.

The team is excited about the appearance improvement the project will provide on both Key Hwy. and Covington St., describing the 1100 block of Covington St. as “not having a good feeling at night,” where several street lights are missing, the pavement is in bad shape, and broken glass is often seen on the ground.

The project will cost $75-90 million and they are hoping to get started in the fourth quarter of 2014. The project will go before the review process at the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel and they have upcoming meetings with the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association (FHNA) and Digital Harbor High School. There will also be another meeting on Monday, March 24th with the public at the Enoch Pratt Library.

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  • Ben

    Not sure how 305 parking spaces is suitable for 305 units. Going to be impossible parking around there, plus they’ll have to take away public spots on covington for the garage access. I assume they will not be given access to area permits either, so they’ll be really SOL. Love to see development in the area, especially on vacant lots. They have any price points yet for their units or a completion date?

  • Michael

    Do you know if there will be any commercial in this building? It would be nice to get a restaurant or coffee shop there since that area of Key Highway is pretty bare for options.

  • Kathleen

    100% agree with Ben. They need double the parking.

  • Andre Stone

    Sounds like a great, urban addition with lots of residents to add vibrancy to a long underutilized site. Not sure why there’s so much concern about the parking. Virtually every street space on Key within two blocks of this site is usually empty after 9 p.m. Also, developers have built enormous garages at other new apartment buildings like Union Wharf and 1901 Charles. I’ve walked through these garages late at night and despite the buildings being 100% occupied, the garages usually have at least a hundred vacant parking spaces.

  • Adam Sandy

    They don’t need more parking. Study after study shows (http://www.uctc.net/access/38/access38_free_parking_markets.shtml) shows that free parking and parking minimums only make the problem worse in the long-term because they just keep pushing off the issue. Baltimore does not need to provide more parking, it needs to provide alternatives to cars.

  • CB

    I would think that townhouses would be a better use for this site.