A developer is ready to once spice up a Light St. site in Inner Harbor that used to house McCormick’s headquarters. Gone are the nutmeg and other scents that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recalled fondly at a groundbreaking on Tuesday, but 414 Light St. is set to rise again.
Questar Properties is set to start construction on a 44-story tower that will house 394 “ultra-luxury” apartments and retail. The $160 million building, also called 414 Light St., is slated to open in March 2018, Questar CEO Stephen Gorn before grabbing a golden shovel for the ceremonial groundbreaking.
Details on who would fill the retail space on the ground floors have yet to be announced, but Gorn provided some details on the amenities for the apartment space. Outside, there will be a rooftop park. Inside, residents will have access to a fitness center, pet salon and California Kitchen.
Located near the corner of Conway and Light Sts., the site directly across from Inner Harbor housed McCormick until the spicemaker left the city for Hunt Valley and saw its former building demolished in the 1980s. Before construction prep started, it was a parking lot.
“This prime location has not been in prime use,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It was a surface parking lot for far too long.”
One skyscraper has been attempted there before. Philadelphia-based ARC Wheeler wanted to build the tallest building in the city at the spot, but it never materialized. Questar bought the site for $11.5 million at auction in 2011. Gorn said the firm initially wanted the site to house Exelon’s new headquarters. But he called their selection on Harbor Point a “blessing in disguise.”
“We found a way to do what we really wanted to do in this property, which is to develop a world class apartment building,” he said.
Now, Downtown Partnership CEO Kirby Fowler is envisioning the new building as being one of the prime landmarks in a flyover shot during an Orioles or Ravens game. “I’m so excited for that,” he said.