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Renderings of the proposed Point Street Apartment project in Harbor Point were approved on Thursday. (Courtesy Beatty Development Group)

Panel approves Point Street Apartment plans

But it's too 'ho-hum,' one panelist complains

Baltimore’s architecture review panel approved plans for the proposed 17-story Point Street Apartment tower but still has lingering questions about its design.

The notoriously fussy Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel remained skeptical of plans for the building’s residential entrance and lobby, arguing those elements are not aggressive enough for a project of its size, but gave its approval anyway.

“It’s ho-hum and it’s too big to be ho-hum,” panelist David Haresign said.

The proposal now faces other approvals before it can be undertaken, but the review board’s endorsement represents a key milestone.

The project is one of several developments in various stages of planning that are altering Baltimore’s skyline on the east side of the Inner Harbor.

Following the meeting the developers were confident that they’d be able to address the panel’s comments and work out changes with city staff. The 289-unit project is a joint venture between Beatty Development Group LLC and Henson Development Co.

“We’ll take another look at it and see what we can come up with,” said Jonathan Flesher, Beatty Development Group’s senior development director.

Plans for the building include 20,000 square feet of retail space, and a planned two-story section is being marketed as a restaurant. There would also be space for about five or six retail shops.

“We’re hoping for at least one full-service restaurant,” Flesher said.

The developers also announced that plans to build a park-like plaza near with the project are on hold until they are ready to begin construction on another nearby building. The delay is in part because the developers haven’t decided whether that building will be a residential or an office development.

Developers hope to break ground on the project in the spring so they can deliver the building at the same time as the 20-story Exelon Energy Corp. headquarters being built at Harbor Point.

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.

It’s been a busy week for projects on the harbor’s east side.

• Last week the Cordish Cos. revealed a proposal to build a $450 million project that includes a 15,000 seat arena, a new outdoor amphitheater and a pedestrian bridge spanning the Inner Harbor at the current Pier 5 and Pier 6 sites.

• WorkShop Development Inc. revealed plans this week for a 15-story apartment tower at the site of the now closed Della Notte Ristorante at the gateway to Little Italy near Harbor East at 801 Eastern Ave.

• On Thursday, the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel reviewed plans for a mixed-use development — a joint Bozzuto Development Group and H&S Properties venture — involving 292 apartments and 49 condos at 700 S. Eden Street.

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.