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WorkShop plans 241-unit apartment building in Canton

WorkShop Development plans to build a 241-unit apartment building at 3400 Boston St. on a vacant piece of land near Canton Crossing and Brewers Hill.

The developer is scheduled Thursday to present schematics of the building to the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel, which guides the design of major developments in Baltimore. Neil Tucker, a partner at WorkShop, declined to disclose the project’s anticipated cost.

“Canton is a very strong community today and is growing,” Tucker said about the neighborhood where the new building is proposed and where his firm has invested heavily.

The Canton neighborhood has been one of the city’s strongest residential submarkets because of the community’s abundance of amenities and waterfront access. However, development trends in that neighborhood has come under criticism because of the suburban nature of some projects like Canton Crossing. WorkShop is also a partner in that massive shopping center along Boston Street.

Amid a multifamily building boom in the city, WorkShop has also been one of the most aggressive apartment developers. The company has at least two more projects on the way.

Currently, WorkShop is pursuing a project at 800 Fleet St. in Little Italy on the former Della Notte restaurant site. That development will consist of 242 apartments and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to WorkShop’s website.

The developer also plans a building at 3901 Dillon St. near Canton and Brewers Hill. That project will provide about 500 apartments and is expected to open in 2019.

Much of the multifamily development in the city can be attributed to increased interest from younger people in an urban lifestyle. But a tax credit for certain apartment projects that provide large property tax breaks for 10 to 15 years, depending on location, have also contributed to developers pursuing a wide variety of projects in recent years.

Developers of projects ranging from the roughly $10 million 65-unit Highland Haus to the $160 million 394-unit high-rise at 414 Light St. have said the credit makes those buildings possible.

Still, the heavy investment in multifamily units has led some elected officials and developers to worry that Baltimore’s apartment market is becoming saturated. Earlier in the year various market reports indicated the rental market was softening because supply was outstripping demand.

Tucker said he still feels comfortable in the market, especially in areas of the city like Harbor East and Canton. New apartment projects are reporting 95 percent absorption, he said, and there’s still room for more units.

“The fundamentals are still strong in Baltimore,” Tucker said.


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