CHAP gives preliminary approval to plan for apartments over carriage houses

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A rendering of the apartments proposed for Mount Vernon. Credit: SM+P Architects.

The third time was the charm for developer Howard Chambers, who finally received preliminary approval today to build apartments above four historic carriage houses he owns at 1012-1020 Morton St., in Mount Vernon.

Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation voted 8 to 1 today, with one abstention, to approve a $10 million plan to build 51 apartments on three levels above the carriage houses.

Chambers’ plan was scaled down from a 2019 proposal, which called for 65 units on six levels and was rejected by the preservation panel. He also submitted an earlier plan but withdrew it before a public hearing.

The scaled down plan, by SM+P Architects, was supported by the Mount Vernon Belvedere Association and by Baltimore Heritage, a preservation advocacy group. Chambers still needs to return to CHAP for final design approval.

The developer said he was pleased with the vote and hopes to begin construction by late next year.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for the neighborhood. We look forward to working with the neighborhood to get this built.”

Under the previous plan, the project would have kept the first 15 feet of each carriage house and build a new structure behind them. CHAP commissioners voiced concerns that the height and massing of the six-story structure would overwhelm the preserved portions of the carriage houses and detract from the block.

Chambers’ third attempt, submitted earlier this month, would set new construction 30 feet from the Morton Street property line, and the shells of the carriage houses would be used as commercial tenant spaces or to provide access to the apartments above.

Ed Gunts


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