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First new Station North apartments set to break ground

This rendering shows The Nelson Kohl apartments from Charles Street. (Courtesy LSC Design)

This rendering shows The Nelson Kohl apartments from Charles Street. (Courtesy LSC Design)

Station North Arts & Entertainment District’s first new multifamily construction project is set to break ground on Tuesday.

The Nelson Kohl apartments at 20 E. Lanvale St., by SA+A Development, will provide 103 market-rate units in an eight-story building that’s expected to cost $25 million. The project is scheduled to be delivered in the late fall of next year.

“I think Baltimore, with everything that’s happening in Hampden and other parts of the city, we’re seeing that neighborhoods beyond the Inner Harbor matter,” said Ernst Valery, president of SA+A Development and Ernst Valery Investments.

The building’s plans call for a distinctive design involving colorful metallic plates on the building’s exterior. Amenities at the property include a Milk & Honey Market, an arts gallery and a rooftop community room and deck.

Valery has previously said he hopes the building’s location next to Penn Station will make it attractive to young professionals from Washington. Rent prices are expected to be about $2.20 per square foot.

Actor Wendell Pierce, best known locally for his role as Det. Bunk Moreland in HBO’s Baltimore-based “The Wire” series, is an investor in the project that is named after two of Valery’s mentors.

The Nelson Kohl is one of several multifamily apartment buildings under construction or proposed for development in the city right now. The apartment development in Baltimore has taken off in recent years in large part because of a citywide tax credit for certain multifamily developments. Baltimore is encouraging multifamily development to compete with other cities in attracting millennials who favor urban living.

Station North Arts & Entertainment District has attracted serious development in recent years, spurred in part by investments from various anchor institutions.

SA+A Development invested $4.5 million in renovating the Chesapeake building, which is home to the Penn & Quill restaurant. Other projects in the district include the $19 million renovation of the Centre Theatre into 76,000-square-foot arts and innovation center; the $6.5 million overhaul of a historic car dealership into the mixed-use Motor House; and the ongoing renovation of the Parkway Theatre into the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Film Center.

Investments in that section of the city have helped spur development in other nearby communities. That has been particularly true of the Greenmount West community. Nonprofit developers have pursued projects such as the City Arts and City Arts 2 apartment developments along with the creation of the Open Works makerspace.

“It just means we believe in Baltimore and Baltimore should start to believe in itself,” Valery said.


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