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Harbor Point apartment tower schematics approved

An architecture review panel approved the schematics for a proposed apartment building that is part of the $1 billion mixed-use Harbor Point development.

The building, currently being called Point Street Apartments, is planned to be 18 stories, with 285-units and 20,000 square feet of retail. Beatty Development Group is the project’s developer.

The Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel commented on the schematics for the first time in late July. The architect and developer requested the panel approve the schematics during that meeting, but members declined to do so because plans that were presented were “under cooked.”

Panelists generally praised the updated design on Thursday.

Panelist Judith Meany raised concern about unbroken rows of windows on the building’s south side over looking the Inner Harbor, but acknowledge the design was better than what was presented earlier.

“[It’s] still a work in progress but you’ve made progress,” Meany said.

Kevin Johnson, design architect for Ayers Saint Gross, responded that the amount of windows on that side of the building were needed because “views sell.”

Gary Bowden said he would like to see some more clarity in the form in the building but said he was pleased with what was presented.

“This is my first time seeing it, and I think it will be a wonderful project,” Bowden said.

Thomas J. Stosur, director of the Department of Planning, said he thinks the tower portion of the building may be “stretched a little bit.” But he praised details of the landscape architecture that were being presented for the first time.

“I think it’s coming along nicely and I like the landscape concept,” Stosur said.

Beatty Development Group would like to break ground on the project in the first quarter of next year so it can deliver the project by summer 2016, the same time as it’s expected to open the 20-story Exelon Energy Corp. headquarters.

The total Harbor Point project calls for 6 million square feet of mixed-use space and 9.5 acres of open space. The plan also calls for 195,550 square feet of retail, 910 residential units and 1.6 million square feet of office space.

The project still needs final design approval from the panel.