Photo courtesy of Harbor Hill Apartments.

Developers have shelved plans to build a four-story addition to the Harbor Hill Apartments in Federal Hill, citing “market conditions” as the reason for not moving ahead.

Owners of the apartment building at 301 Warren Ave. notified residents yesterday that they won’t be proceeding as previously scheduled with work on an expansion that would have been constructed on a parking lot they own at Riverside Avenue and Grindall Street.

“We remain excited by this project and the value it will bring to the community and broader neighborhood,” the developers said in a message obtained by Baltimore Fishbowl. “However, given current market conditions, we have decided to put this project on hold for the foreseeable future.”

The notice came as a surprise to Federal Hill residents, many of whom have voiced concerns about the project’s size and impact on already-scarce parking in the area. It’s a potential sign that south Baltimore’s hot rental housing market, which has seen hundreds of apartments created in recent years, may be cooling off.

In recent months, rising interest rates and supply chain disruptions have prompted some developers to rethink construction plans. Analysts have also raised questions about the potential glut of market-rate apartments in Baltimore and asked where all the renters are coming from.

At the same time, other developers are announcing plans to build still more apartments in south Baltimore, including 50 proposed last month by 28 Walker Development for the 1200 block of Wall Street and 165 proposed this month by Workshop Development and Consolidated Equities Corp. for the former Shofer’s furniture warehouse property at 836 Leadenhall St.

A rendering of the Harbor Hill expansion. Credit: FILLAT+ Architecture.

Harbor Hill’s expansion was designed by FILLAT+ Architecture to contain 71 apartments and 128 underground parking spaces. The existing building has 74 apartments. The developer is Harbor Hill Realty LLC. Baltimore’s preservation commission approved the design of the expansion last November, and construction was expected to begin imminently.

Along with announcing the delay in building, the developers told residents they would resume leasing parking spaces on the lot that was going to be used for construction.

Managers had stopped leasing parking spaces to free the land for construction – a decision that prompted some residents to move to other rental communities that offered on-site parking. But with construction not moving ahead, the developers said, “we are happy to announce that we intend to reinstate parking effective November 1.” The spots are being leased on a month-to-month basis.

The developers didn’t indicate when construction might begin.

“At this time, we do not yet know when we will relaunch the construction project,” their message said. “This decision will be subject to shifting market conditions, and as soon as we have clarity we will be sure to keep you informed.”

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.