Houston-based Hanover Co. revealed plans today at the Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) for Phase I of the Stadium Square development. The plans feature a 293-unit apartment building with 14,000 sq. ft. of retail and 450-500 parking spaces, which will be located on the 1110 block of Race St., the northern most block of the development.
Stadium Square is an approximately $250 million mixed-use project by master developer Caves Valley Partners (CVP). The development will cover three consecutive blocks of South Baltimore in Sharp-Leadenhall and the South Baltimore Neighborhood located between Cross St. on the north, Race St. on the east, Leadenhall St. on the west, and both sides of Ostend St. to the south.
Construction on this first Hanover Co. building is expected to start later this year with a construction timeline of approximately two years. Arsh Mirmiran of CVP told SouthBMore.com that Phase II, in which they will develop office space and retail on the southernmost block of the development, is not far behind and could start soon as well. Mimiran said they have already received significant interest from potential office tenants.
Ryan Krautz, the project designer from architect Design Collective, presented plans to UDARP detailing the building’s exterior and amenities. The building will be six stories tall and will include an interior courtyard as well as a pool. The 14,000 sq. ft. of retail be will focused around the corner of Cross St. and Race. St. The team is looking to continue the business foot traffic from the nearby Cross Street Market area and down Cross St. to their development.
The building is designed to have the appearance of two buildings with a facade highlighted by red brick facing Cross St., as well as the northern half of Race St. and Leadenhall St., and a facade highlighted by white brick facing West St. and the southern half of Race St. and Leadenhall St. Krautz said the red brick was to honor the historical neighborhoods of Sharp-Leadenhall and Federal Hill and the white facade would give it more of a contemporary feel.
Panelists were critical of this portion of the plan saying there could be a more distinct difference between the two massings outside of the brick color.
The two sides of the building would be separated by a “loggia,” which would be an open area leading to the courtyard and pool as well as to a potential outdoor dining area at the retail space.
Landscaping plans were presented for the perimeter of the building featuring many trees and planters surrounding all four sides of the building.
Six rowhomes exist on the property on the corner of Cross St. and Leadenhall St. with four facing Cross and two facing Leadenhall. These homes are currently not part of the apartment building and are considered historic. Mirmiran said he currently has those homes under contract and will look into converting them into a small office building or more retail space. The current two story height of the rowhomes would allow the decks from the future parking garage of the parking building to be exposed. Several of the panelists took issue with this appearance, but the development team said that a potential redevelopment of the rowhomes, in which they could increase the homes’ height, would hide that exposure.
The panel said they would like to see another plan for the facade of the parking decks at their next review of the project.
Demolition is currently underway on the existing warehouses on the 1100 blocks of Race and Leadenhall St. to make way for Phase 1 as well as on the former Furst Bros. property, which will be part of Phase III.
Betty Thomas, a resident of Sharp-Leadenhall, said she was excited about the plan and was hoping the project will create large sidewalks to accompany the heavy pedestrian traffic that passes through during Orioles and Ravens games. She hopes the project will preserve the historic character of Sharp-Leadenhall and is excited that the project would create a more vibrant Solo Gibbs Park, which is adjacent to Phase I.
Cynthia Hendricks, president of the Sharp-Leadenhall Improvement Committee, said that she is also very excited about the project but agreed with the criticisms from the panel about the design. Hendricks is looking forward to the new employment opportunities coming to the area with the construction of the office space and dining and retail establishments. Hendricks is also hoping some affordable units will be constructed at some point during the Stadium Square development and hopes the existing affordable housing in the community will be preserved in the future.