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Harbor Point rendering

Armada Hoffler building Harbor Point tower

20-story project will create about 1,000 construction jobs

Beatty Development Group LLC selected Armada Hoffler Construction to build a 20-story office tower in the $1 billion Harbor Point mixed-use project.

The 900,000-square-foot building will be the regional headquarters for energy giant Exelon Corp. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring and finish within two years.

“We believe Armada Hoffler’s reputation and experience combined with the strong employment resources we have in Baltimore will result in a successful outcome for this transformative project,” Michael S. Beatty, president of Beatty Development Group, said in a news release.

Armada Hoffler’s previous projects in Baltimore include Legg Mason Inc.’s headquarters, the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront hotel and Spinnaker Bay luxury apartments.

The project is expected to create about 1,000 construction jobs, and an agreement between the city and the developer stipulates that 20 percent of all employees on the jobsite and 51 percent of all new hires will be Baltimore residents.

“Harbor Point represents one of the most significant opportunities for Baltimore City,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a news release. “This transformational project will attract new jobs, new residents, new tax revenue and new public amenities for all Baltimore City residents to enjoy.”

But construction on the project has previously caused concern among residents because of pollution on the site.

Dating back to the mid-1800s, the land was home to the Baltimore Chrome Works Facility, and chromium was processed on the site until 1985.

The former property owner, Allied Signal, which later changed its name to Honeywell, entered into a consent decree with state and federal agencies and agreed to mitigate the pollution on the site. As part of that agreement, the company built a 5-foot-thick cap on the site to prevent chromium leakage.

In order to build the tower, the cap must be punctured by more than 1,000 piles. Some residents worried that could lead to chromium particles, which can be toxic in high enough doses, polluting the air around the jobsite.

In March the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved an air construction monitoring plan that will measure the level of particulates in the air and includes an action plan in case the levels rise above acceptable levels.

Last week state officials said construction crews could puncture the cap by mid-May.