New Apartments in Bolton Hill, Preservation Awards, Spike Gjerde’s Latest Joint and more

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The flats at Eutaw Place
Rendering of The Flats at Eutaw Place

A parking lot in the Bolton Hill historic district will be the setting for Baltimore’s next market rate apartment building if the city’s zoning board approves a plan by Eutaw Place Partners, an affiliate of Somerset Development Company.

The Flats at Eutaw Place is the tentative name of a four-story, 62-unit apartment building that Somerset wants to build at Eutaw Place and McMechen Street, across from the Save-A-Lot grocery store.

Marks, Thomas Architects has designed the building to contain apartments that could attract college students and young professionals, with a café and lobby at street level, and an amenity room and terrace on the top level.

In response to market trends, the apartments will be relatively compact, with studios between 460 and 510 square feet in size, one-bedrooms with 640 to 650 square feet, and two bedrooms with 940 to 1,140 square feet, to keep rents affordable. Flora Teeter is the landscape architect.

According to Somerset project manager Jake Stern, the land is part of a 3.8-acre parcel that contains a 266-unit apartment tower called the Linden Park Apartments (formerly known as the Memorial Apartments).   Stern said those apartments, at 301 McMechen Street, are operated as housing for seniors aged 62 and older and will continue to be.

In a presentation last week to Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, Stern said about 1.8 acres has been subdivided from the Linden Park property. He said Somerset wants to take that land, primarily a parking lot, and use it to build additional apartments that would not be age restricted. Plans call for the building to be clad in brick and have 44 parking spaces and a large “green roof.”

Stern said Somerset expects the apartments to appeal to prospective renters largely because of their Bolton Hill location, their amenities and their proximity to the Metro subway system, the light rail line and Penn Station – all within walking distance. He said many of the renters are likely to rely on public transportation and not own a car. Because the proposed development has not been designed to provide at least one parking space per unit, it needs a variance from the city’s zoning board, which will consider the project on June 28.

Stern did not disclose a figure for the project’s cost or a timetable for construction.  The design has been approved by Bolton Hill’s architectural review committee. It also was approved by CHAP, along with suggestions about making the cornice line more pronounced.


Ambassador Theater closer to landmark designation

At its meeting last week, CHAP also voted to recommend that the Ambassador Theater at 4604 Liberty Heights Avenue be designated a city landmark.  Designed by architect John Zink, who also designed Baltimore’s Senator Theater, the Art Deco-style Ambassador is vacant and has been in receivership. No one at the meeting protested the landmark designation, which still must be approved by the Mayor and City Council.


Baltimore Heritage awards announced

Nearly two dozen restoration or renovation projects in Baltimore, including projects by organizations associated with entrepreneurs Kevin Plank and Eddie Brown, were honored last week during the 2016 Historic Preservation Awards ceremony sponsored by Baltimore Heritage, a citywide preservation advocacy group.

Winners in the Restoration category were:  3025 Iona Terrace, a residence owned by Charles Graham; the Centennial Park Street Car Shelter at West University Parkway and Overhill Road, maintained by Baltimore City’s Department of General Services; the Green Street Academy at 125 North Hilton Street; and the Washington Monument at Charles and Monument streets, owned by Baltimore City and operated by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy.  The conservancy received a second award for “outstanding outreach and engagement” during the monument’s restoration.

Rehabilitation awards went to the Ivy Hotel, 205 E. Biddle Street, Mount Vernon Mansion LLC, headed by Eddie Brown and Martin Azola, owner, and a private residence at 2212 Jefferson Street, Ellen Burke, owner.

Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design awards went to 1730 Bank Street, a former convent converted to eight 1-bedroom apartments, by Edgemont Builders;  the Centre Theatre at 10 E. North Avenue, a former theater turned arts incubator, by Jubilee Baltimore; 2300 Essex Street, a residential renovation by Building Character; 1401 Fleet Street and 605 South Eden Street,  by Vanguard Retail Development; 1900 Fleet Street, a private residence owned by Deborah Tempura; and City Garage at 101 West Dickman Street; a multi-tenant “maker space” by Sagamore Development Company.

Also Hotel Indigo, created inside the former YMCA building at 24 West Franklin Street by MVH Baltimore Hotel LLC; 1106 West Lafayette Avenue, a five-unit apartment building by Edgemont Builders; Motor House, an arts incubator at 120 West North Avenue by Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation; the 613 Portland Avenue Apartments by Zahlco Development; the Southeast Community Development Corporation Office building at 3323 Eastern Avenue by SECO; and the Xavier on Broadway Apartments by Bank and Broadway Properties Corp.  Heritage Preservation Awards went to Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, the Reinvestment Fund, and Meadow Property Management Group.


Spike Gjerde bringing “Bird in Hand” to Charles Village

“Bird in Hand” is the name of the restaurant and bookshop that Artifact Coffee founder Spike Gjerde and partners will open this fall at Nine East 33rd, the student apartment building nearing completion at St. Paul and 33rd streets.

According to the developers of the building, Bird in Hand will be “an Artifact Coffee family coffee shop and casual eatery” created by Gjerde, Corey Polyoka, and Ivy Bookshop owners Ann and Ed Berlin. The 1,574 square foot business will feature sandwiches made with Parts & Labor meats, whole grain sweet and savory pastries, and Counter Culture expresso and hand poured coffee, as well as Ivy’s curated collection of books.

Bird in Hand is one of three new restaurants coming to Nine East 33rd, along with PekoPeko Ramen and honeydew.   “The majority of apartments and retail space are currently pre-leased and the project continues to receive considerable interest, mainly due to its strategic location within walking distance of Johns Hopkins’ main campus,” said Tony Nero, president of Development at Armada Hoffler, which is  developing the project with Beatty Development Group.



Tong Le school moves into the former Milkmak building

 The Tong Le Montessori School, formerly Federal Hill Montessori, has moved into the Milkmak Candy Factory building, also known as the Shot Tower building, at 805 East Fayette Street.  The school offers a “mixed-age, mixed-lingual, mixed cultural” Montessori program for children aged six weeks to six years.


Artists selected for public art projects

 Ebon Heath, an artist based in  New York and Germany, has been selected to create a work of public art for the Waverly branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, under the city’s One Percent for Art program. The budget is around $30,000. Baltimore-based artist Graham Coreil-Allen of Graham Projects heads a group that has been selected to create art for the Central Avenue Corridor, where the road is being upgraded. The budget is around $60,000.


Former James Grieves residence on the market

Architect James R. Grieves has worked on some of Baltimore’s most high-profile public buildings, including the Walters Art Museum, the National Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Pavilion and Center Stage’s home on Calvert Street.

Grieves also built a home for himself on a 3.5-acre parcel at 10908 Baronet Road in Owings Mills. Now that home has come on the market for $679,000.

The one level, 3,736 square foot home, built in 1960 and expanded in the 1980s by architect David Gleason, includes four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and custom features such as built-in hanging credenzas in the dining room. A former pool has been turned into a pond. More information is available at or from listing agent Michael Shapiro at 301-503-6171.


Watergate Hotel reopens in D. C.

Bellhops dressed in Sixties-themed uniforms created by costume designer Janie Bryant from the Mad Men television series. Guest rooms that resemble cabins on a cruise ship only filled with midcentury modern furniture. Guest rooms bearing a message that makes a not so subtle reference to the Nixon era: “No need to break in…”

Those are just a few of the design touches guests will find at the Watergate Hotel at 2650 Virginia Avenue N. W. in Washington, D. C., which reopened last week after a six year, $125 million renovation.

As part of the work, the number of rooms has increased from 251 to 336, including 32 suites, and 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 7,000 square foot ballroom. The developer is Euro Capital Properties of New York, headed by Jacques and Rakel Cohen. The architects were BBGM of Washington and Ron Arad Architects of London.


Mahan Rykiel adds staffers

Mahan Rykiel Associates, Inc., a Baltimore-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm, has added Amina Mohamed and Jeff Dube to its staff as landscape designers,  Lamonte Tyler as IT Administrator,and Bryan McKnight, Karen Kuo, Julie Shapiro and Shi Chen as summer interns. Emily Lansinger and Steven Roberts joined the staff to assist in a statewide Americans with Disabilities Act Sidewalks Inventory and Data Collection contracts.

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