An apartment project at 1100 Key Hwy. is coming back to life for the third time as The Bainbridge Companies is reviving the approximately $66-million project that will bring an eight-story, 600 ft. long, 224-unit apartment building to Federal Hill. The project was presented today at an Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) hearing at the Baltimore City Planning Department. The property sits between Key Hwy. and Covington St. It is across the street from Digital Harbor High School (DHHS) and adjacent to E. Cross St. and CrossFit Federal Hill. Bainbridge does not own the small corner piece of land at E. Cross St. and Key Hwy.
In March 2014, Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Company originally proposed a 305-unit apartment building. Bainbridge took over the project in 2015 with a scaled-down building. Bainbridge walked away from the project, but decided to come back about six months ago. Bainbridge Senior Development Vice President Alex Barroso said the decision was based on seeing a lot of activity in the Baltimore apartment market. When asked if the apartment market and construction in Baltimore is oversaturated, Barroso said “no.”
The proposed development will include a third-story courtyard and pool facing Key Hwy., a gym, a club room, a cyber café, and a rooftop deck. The building has a three-story, 227-space parking garage. The garage is covered by the building facing Key Hwy., but rises one floor above Covington St., which is 20 ft. higher than the base of the building. This level of parking will be covered with screening and landscaping. The parking garage will have two entrances on Covington St. and one on Key Hwy.
The exterior of the building will feature masonry, brick, hardy board, and different shades of gray. Some of the units will have balconies. The perimeter of the building will have landscaping, and apartments facing the ground floor of Key Hwy. will be “townhouse-style” units with front stoops with gardens. The building will have two lobbies, one on Key Hwy. and one on Covington St. The design will also likely include a large mural visible from Key Hwy. that could illustrate the area’s industrial history.
Beret Dickson of Hord Coplan Macht is the lead architect on the project and Michael Casey of Kimley Horn is the landscape architect.
At a previous UDARP hearing, panelists expressed concerns about blocking the views of DHHS. In response, Bainbridge scaled back the northwest corner of the building at E. Cross St. and Covington St. to allow for improved northern views from the school.
Today, UDARP panelists expressed some additional concerns with the design of the building and said that Bainbridge will need to present one more time. Bainbridge hopes to begin construction in October with an approximate construction timeline of 20 months.
This is Bainbridge’s first project in Baltimore. It manages approximately 25,000 units in areas such as the Washington D.C. and central Florida.