Harbor Point’s developers will celebrate a major milestone for the project when they officially break ground on the first primarily residential building.
A groundbreaking ceremony for 1405 Point, a 17-story building with 289 apartment units, is scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday at the waterfront site in southeast Baltimore.
Officials for the developer Beatty Development Group and its partners, Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. and Henson Development Co., were not available for comment.
But Jody Clark, chief operating officer of Beatty Development Group, portrayed the project as a building that will lure more residents to Baltimore.
“1405 Point will be a full service, residential building that will complement Harbor Point and attract people to the city who are seeking the vibrancy that comes with urban living,” Clark said in a news release. “By creating a unique environment of living, working and playing, we are changing people’s definition for city living.”
In addition to the apartments, the building provides 18,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Planned amenities at the property include a 24/7 fitness center, a lounge and pool on the 11th floor and grilling stations.
When the full Harbor Point development is completed it’s expected to include 3 million square feet of mixed-use space on 27 acres of property that will also feature more than nine acres of waterfront parks.
The first building completed on the development site was Thames Street Wharf office building, which was finished in 2010. That property was sold to California-based KBS Realty Advisors Inc. for $89 million nearly two years ago.
The development is also home to the 20-story Exelon Building at Harbor Point, which will house Exelon’s Constellation business unit.
The Exelon building includes 443,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet or retail and 103 apartments. The building, which is under construction, is expected to be delivered this year.
Next in the development pipeline at Harbor Point is the Wills Wharf building with 220,000 square feet of office and a 156-room Canopy Hotel.
The $1 billion Harbor Point development has been at the center of some controversy.
Activists decried the project receiving $107 million in public financing through the city’s tax incremental financing mechanism.
Tax increment financing requires the city to issue bonds to pay for public infrastructure improvements sought to develop a project. The bonds are then, hopefully, repaid through an increase in property taxes associated with the development.
Critics argued Beatty Development Group could have afforded the infrastructure without public funds, and called the tax increment financing a give-a-way to a wealthy developer building in one of the city’s most desirable waterfront locations.
There were also environmental concerns about the development site.
The land where Harbor Point is planned had been exposed to chromium dating back to the 1890s.
A previous property owner agreed to clean up the site and in the late 1990s a cap was put on the site to prevent chromium leakage.
To build the Exelon building the cap had to be pierced by more than 1,000 piles, which raised concerns about air quality in surrounding neighborhoods.
Eventually the developer reached an agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the EPA to monitor the air quality at the site, which allowed construction to proceed.
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