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Time Group pitches new Park Avenue apartments

Time Group Real Estate Investment Thursday unveiled schematics for a modernist residential apartment building at 500 Park Ave.

The developer presented initial plans for an “L” shaped, six-story building with 153 apartments to the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel. Plans for the project also involve a 4,000-square-foot retail building on the site, but it’s unknown what kind of retail would go into that space.

The building will basically serve as a sister unit to the Time Group’s 170-unit development at 520 Park Ave. Residents of both buildings will be able to use the fitness center at 520 Park Ave. and the planned pool at 500 Park. The developer hopes to break ground at 500 Park by early next year and deliver the project, which is expected to cost about $29 million, in the spring of 2017.

“We tried very, very hard to work off the success of our project at 520 Park Ave.,” said Dominic Wiker, development director at Time Group.

520 Park Ave., which leases a one-bedroom apartment for between $1,300 and $1,400 a month, was 100 percent leased about a half year after units went on the market last June. There’s currently a waiting list of about 50 people to get into that development.

Wiker said developers intend to keep pricing of the units at the new building in a similar range so that the apartments would remain affordable to a younger demographic who often can’t afford to rent an apartment in one of the many luxury developments built in Baltimore recently.

Charles Alexander, principal of architecture firm Alexander Design Studio, said his team designed the building with an L shape and a courtyard partly to give south-facing units at 520 Park Ave. a better view than another solid wall of apartments. The design also incorporates a courtyard that would serve as almost a wetland to help offset runoff from the project.

Members of the architecture review panel were mixed in their opinions of the project’s design.

Panelist Gary Bowden was critical of some aspects of the building, such as the scale of its proposed entrance, but was impressed by the project’s overall design.

“There’s a lot I really like about what you’re showing. The shape is very interesting,” Bowden said.

But panelist Richard Burns said he thought the design was too complicated and joked that Alexander accidentally discovered deconstructionism, saying the design looked more like a hotel than a residential project.

“There’s a sense on my part that you’re trying to be different to be different,” Burns said.

About Adam Bednar

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