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These Baltimore apartments could stretch the boundary of Mt. Vernon

Rendering of 500 Park Avenue. (rendering submitted by Alexander Design Studio)

Rendering of 500 Park Avenue. (rendering submitted by Alexander Design Studio)

Time Group Real Estate Investment celebrated the start of construction on a $29 million apartment building the firm says extends the Mount Vernon neighborhood’s boundaries toward downtown.

The project will bring 153 market-rate apartments to 500 Park Ave., with nearly 4,000 square feet of retail space and 130 parking spaces. The apartments will be split between about 40 studio units, 100 one-bedroom apartments and 10 two-bedroom units. The first tenants are expected to move into 500 Park Ave. next June.

“With 520 Park, we stretched the boundaries of Mount Vernon south by about half-a-block, and we believe that with the rapid acceptance of that project there’s a demand for folks looking for high-quality product in Mount Vernon, and we think 500 Park will take the neighborhood down by another half block all the way to [West] Franklin [Street],” Time Group Real Estate’s Development Director Dominic Wiker said.

The first phase of the development involved converting 520 Park Ave., across an alley north of 500 Park Ave., into a 170-unit apartment building. Those buildings will share a vanishing-edge swimming pool and an elevated walkway connecting the buildings.

The apartments at 520 Park Ave. were 100 percent leased within six months of that building opening in June of 2014. A one-bedroom apartment at 520 Park Ave. leases for between $1,300 and $1,400 a month. It’s not known exactly what the apartments at 500 Park will cost per month, but they are expected to be in a similar price range to units at 520 Park.

A major difference between the projects is that 500 Park will be new construction and 520 Park was a historic rehabilitation. As a result of strong demand 500 Park also include about twice as many studio apartments.

The second phase of that development was the Mt. Vernon Marketplace, also at 520 Park Ave., that brings together artisan food-makers who provide such products as craft beer, Ethiopian coffee and gourmet sorbet.

“Our vision is to create basically an entire square block of development, which in our minds, which we call Mount Vernon Center, and this is really the third phase of that effort,” Wiker said.

Baltimore has been booming with the construction of new apartments in recent years. That has been spurred in large part by tax credits aimed at incentivizing building new units or converting outdated office space into residential property.

Despite the influx of supply on the market, in an attempt to respond to the growing demand for urban living, Baltimore’s multi-family market has continued to perform well.

According to a report on the market’s performance in the first quarter of the year by Delta Associates, found vacancy in the city declined 200 basis point from the year before to 5.8 percent. At the same time effective rents in the city increased by 3.2 percent.



About Adam Bednar

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