First Apartment Building Opens in the CenterWest Development in Poppleton

| November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

The CenterWest development in Poppleton opened its first new building last month. Avra, a five-story, 176-unit apartment building at 101 N. Schroder St., is now open and welcoming residents. The CenterWest development has been in planning for about 15 years and has been under construction on the first phase of development over the last few years.

The CenterWest development is a project by New York City’s La Cité Development. It is an $800-million master plan that will include 3.2 million sq. ft. of new construction and 1,800 new housing units. The new construction will take over mostly-vacant lots on N. Schroeder St. and N. Carrollton Ave. between W. Fairmount Ave. to the south and W. Mulberry St. to the north, which also borders Rt. 40 highway.

CenterWest is backed by $58.3 million in Baltimore City tax increment financing (TIF) bonds that will be issued in phases. TIF bonds pay for infrastructure improvements at a development and are paid off by the increase in property tax revenues on the improved property.

Phase One consists of two buildings, Avra, which is now open, and Ciro, which is mostly completed and is expected to get its final occupancy permit in the spring. Ciro is another five-story building with 86 apartments. Avra and Ciro combine for 262 apartments, 225 parking spaces between two parking garages and a surface parking lot, about 18,000 sq. ft. of retail, a dog park, and new public parks called Poe Park and Central Bark dog park.

Avra and Ciro share amenities which include a pool, three large elevated green courtyards, a fitness center, club rooms, rooftop decks, bike rooms, and pet washing stations.

Poe Park is an outdoor courtyard in front of Avra. It sits across the street from the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum. Central Bark is across the street from Avra and adjacent to the surface parking lot for the development.

Avra and Ciro include studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments. La Cité and its management team of TM Associates are offering studios staring at $1,485 per month and three-bedroom units which will go up to $3,200 per month. The apartments have high-end finishes including stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, islands, and washers and dryers.

TM Associates Director of Marketing Lauren McInnes told SouthBMore.com that CenterWest is offering apartments that are “a lot larger” than many other options Downtown. She touted how close CenterWest is to the University of Maryland BioPark campus, which is about a block away, as well as its proximity to University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland Medical Center, as well as the rest of Downtown. She talked about how CenterWest is in a quiet area, but close to many things.

As of Friday, CenterWest had 13 leases signed.

CenterWest was hoping to open Phase One last fall, but the opening was delayed for about year. La Cité President Dan Bythewood Jr. called it a “contractor issue” and said he is very happy to finally open.

“We believe we have something special and now we get to show it off to the world,” he said.

Bythewood Jr. told SouthBMore.com a deal for a restaurant at Avra is “almost done.” CenterWest is already in the design and development phase of Phase Two which will bring another apartment building with an already-signed grocery store and additional retail on the first floor, and a hotel to Schroeder St. with additional retail. La Cité hopes to break ground on both of these buildings next year.

When asked if he sees Schroeder St. as a new main street for Southwest Baltimore, Bythewood Jr. said CenterWest will focus on larger retail spaces, so residents and visitors will turn to W. Baltimore St. for local stores and smaller retail footprints. W. Baltimore St., which is a block from CenterWest, has many vacant storefronts, but is garnering a lot of new attention from Southwest Partnership and developers.

Avra

Ciro and Avra 

Ciro

Poe Park

Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum

Central Bark dog park

Photo below courtesy of TM Associates 

CenterWest surface parking lot 

Elevated pool at Avra 

Avra photos below courtesy of TM Associates 

Development overview. CenterWest properties in red 

Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps. Proposed 400-unit apartment building and grocery store lot marked in yellow, lots for Phase One buildings Avra and Ciro marked in red, proposed hotel lot marked in blue. 

3D project overview showing  buildings in planning

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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