Plans for Development at 900 E. Fort Ave. Garner Rave Reviews

| September 27, 2013 | 8 Comments

1377509_10153286600950716_121017910_nOn Thursday, September 26th, The Bozzuto Group, Solstice Partners and KTGY Architecture presented plans to the Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) for a new $80 million mixed-use project at 900 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point at a former General Electric site. This project, which sits at the corner of Fort Ave. and Lawrence St. across from Southside Marketplace and the Foundry on Fort Ave., will drastically change the entrance to Locust Point. It was described by panelists as dynamic, really thoughtful, exciting and very strong.

The group is proposing a nine-story mixed-use building including 275 apartments, ground floor restaurants and retail, a rooftop restaurant, and a two-and-a-half level parking garage. The building will include more than an acre of outdoor space for its tenants. This includes a rooftop lounge, a pool area, an outdoor park-style patio facing the Inner Harbor, and a pet run.  Sitting more than 20 feet above Key Hwy., the building promises 360-degree views of the harbor, skyline, cruise ships, Fort McHenry, and more.

Another goal of the project is to improve pedestrian access to the waterfront along Fort Ave. and Lawrence St. Trees will be planted around the perimeter of the property, which faces Fort Ave., Lawrence St. and the Royal Farms. Improved pedestrian and bicycle areas along Fort Ave. and Lawrence St. will also be added to make Lawrence St. more of a “boulevard.”

“In many ways this is the entrance to Locust Point. We wanted to make something really special, an iconic project for the area,” said Toby Bozzuto of The Bozzuto Group. This was the fourth time Bozzuto was before the UDARP panel, previously presenting The Fitzgerald (Bolton Hill), Spinnaker Bay (Harbor East), and Union Wharf (Fells Point). “With each of those previous buildings we achieved record rents,” said Bozzuto.

900eThe building will feature retail and restaurants along Lawrence St. and the western end of Fort Ave., as well as a small plaza area at the corner of Fort Ave. and Lawrence St. The entrance to the garage will align with the entrance to the Foundry on Fort Ave. KTGY designed many eye-catching, visual architectural features as well as a large ‘park style’ terrace facing the harbor. The apartments are also positioned along the perimeter of the property, assuring that most will have a great view.

Although the Locust Point Civic Association (LPCA) and the developers continue to have conversations about the project regarding concerns over the building’s context in the community, as well as parking and traffic concerns, Terry Harrington of LPCA said the community is thrilled to be working with such an experienced team. Bozzuto described LPCA as “incredible to work with.”

The design was “approved with comments” by the UDARP panel and they are hoping to break ground in late summer 2014 with approximately 20-24 months of construction.

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