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REAL ESTATE INSIDER

Bainbridge starts construction on delayed Key Highway apartments

(Hord Copland Macht rendering)

The Bainbridge Cos.’ project in Federal Hill will feature 224 apartments and a 228-vehicle garage. (Hord Copland Macht rendering)

Construction has started on the Bainbridge Cos.’ long-delayed apartment project in Federal Hill.

The company celebrated the ceremonial start of construction on the project at 1100 Key Highway on Wednesday. The building is expected to be complete by the middle of 2019, according to the company.

“It’s an exciting time for the Bainbridge team. We have been considering the Baltimore market for quite some time, understanding the city is very diligent about agreeing to the right multifamily projects. We worked closely and carefully with the city and surrounding neighborhood to design a community we all are excited about,” Tom Keady, president of The Bainbridge Cos., said in a statement.

The project will feature 224 apartments and a 228-vehicle garage. Amenities include 12,000 square feet of common area over three floors, 24-hour fitness center and a pool with an elevated deck and a view of the Inner Harbor.

The apartment will provide a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units, and some will even feature a loft office area.

Bethesda-base Bainbridge brought the $66.5 million project back to Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel for approval last spring.

The same project, the company’s first in Baltimore, had been presented to the city’s design review board two years before. The project was delayed while Bainbridge sought a development partner prior to Wilton Investment Group coming on board.

There’s been lingering concerns about Baltimore’s apartment market being overbuilt. An abundance of new projects have been completed or are under construction, including Bozzuto Group and War Horse LLC’s Anthem House and Anthem House II, also just off Key Highway.

Despite a glut of product, and riots and a surge in violent crime, Baltimore’s multifamily market has posted solid performances, particularly in the city’s tonier neighborhoods. Overall, rents dropped in the city last year by less than 1 percent but increased in neighborhoods near the city’s waterfront.

Alex Barroso, senior vice president of development at Bainbridge, has previously expressed confidence in the need for well-managed, higher-end apartments because there haven’t been many of those in Baltimore for years. Target tenants for 1100 Key Highway, he said, are young professionals who work in Baltimore and want to be able to walk or ride a bike to the office.

The building’s architect, Hord Coplan Macht, faced some unique design challenges because of the dimensions of the parcel of land for the building. The primary obstacle was the odd-shaped lot to the east across Covington Street from Digital Harbor High School, where the building is being constructed. The rectangle shape of the land means the building will have to be about 600 feet long and about 90 feet deep.

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