South Baltimore Development Updates
New Townhomes at Silo Point
Earlier this fall, SouthBMore.com wrote about the exploding market for new townhouse construction in Baltimore City, and how that has led to developers searching for the next properties ready for construction. It appears a long delayed townhouse element of Silo Point in Locust Point could be back in motion. Baltimore Business Journal is reporting that McHenry Row Developer Mark Sapperstein has entered negotiations to purchase the land that wraps around Silo Point and Construct 55 new townhouses.
More Info Revealed about GE Site Development
The fenced in lot across the street from the Foundry on Fort Ave. in Locust Point has been vacant since the GE Service Center was torn down in 1993. Baltimore Business Journal is reporting that up to 200 apartments and 16,000 square feet of retail are eyed for the site. They are hoping to begin by the end of 2013. From the Article:
Plans could include dividing the property into two main residential buildings, Kopicki said. The former GE site is slated to be zoned to accommodate developments up to 100-feet tall.
The complex will feature prime views of the Inner Harbor, Kopicki said, adding that he hopes the development will encourage further investment nearby.
The area is certainly becoming a hub for shopping and retail with the addition of McHenry Row, the renovations of Southside Marketplace, the Foundry, and now this new development. BBJ is also reporting that UA has leased space at Phillips Headquarters which is also on the same stretch at 1215 Fort Ave. Could this be the location of their new store in Locust Point? I guess we’ll see, as it was previously planned for the western end of their Tide Point campus.
Westport Waterfront Property Facing Foreclsoure
I’m not sure there has been a bigger development tease in Baltimore in the last 10 years than Westport Waterfront… though there have been many. The development even led investors to buy up hundreds of houses in the neighborhood in anticipation of the development, many now are still vacant 7 years later. Mayor Rawlings-Blake even put the owners on notice to fix up or sell.
This week came news that an unpaid $30 million loan on the project could lead the development to foreclosure. But from the article in the BBJ:
Turner, however, said he is negotiating to buy the loan note back from Citigroup at a discount before the end of the year. He said he has a deal in place for a group comprised of all private capital to purchase the Citigroup loan. Turner said he would be the managing partner of the new group. He declined to disclose who would supply the financing for the project.
Though this is looked at as devastating news for the development, I’ll give you a different perspective. Most projects are delayed in this city because of financing, city resistance, or litigation against the project. So considering this project is heavily backed by the city, and not facing any lawsuits over it’s composition, it was obvious there were financial issues. If Turner is able to secure private investment, it will be a more streamlined approach, and an approach many developers are using in this recovering investment economy.
Here are some encouraging comments in the Baltimore Sun from Westport Neighborhood Association leader Keisha Allen:
“To the average person, it looks like everything in Westport is tied up with Pat Turner. But the waterfront is the icing on the cake of development that’s happening here. There’s already redevelopment going on in the existing Westport.”
Though Westport is not a perfect place, I continually hear positive things from their residents reaching out to inform me of the progress they are making there. One thing I admire about Baltimore is though this country went through a big recession, many neighborhoods never gave up and continued making improvements.
More Details Coming Soon Department
-I’m not sure there is a property more people have inquired to SouthBMore.com about than the Raffel Building on Heath and Clarkson in South Baltimore. This large historical industrial building has been vacant for a long time, and it’s emptiness is a visible eye sore from Rte 2, I95 and 395. Plans for apartments or condos have long been planned, but never begun. There is finally some good news for this property as a new investment group has joined the project and they are hard at work. They are on an ambitious schedule and we should expect an announcement and details very soon.
-A group is also hard at work on a new Hammerjacks (original style) that will be located near M&T Bank Stadium and Horseshoe Baltimore. An announcement is upcoming and it is a really exciting project for the new emerging entertainment district.