Mark Sapperstein’s ’28 Walker’ Planning 112-Townhome Development in Locust Point

| March 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

Mark Sapperstein and his development company 28 Walker has the PQ Corporation plant at 1301 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point under contract and is planning a townhome development that will add approximately 112 homes. PQ, a company based in Valley Forge, PA, closed the plant in January.

28 Walker needs the industrial zoning at the five-acre site changed to R8 in order to move the project forward. Sapperstein has been meeting with the board of the Locust Point Civic Association (LPCA) and met with the general membership last night. A motion was made at last night’s meeting to have a special meeting on this topic on March 25th at 730pm at the McHenry Row Conference Center.

“There wasn’t enough time to learn about it, discuss, and take a vote,” said LPCA President Matt Farcosky. “Mark (Sapperstein) has been open the entire time to all discussion and has been really solution-oriented.”

LPCA is familiar with Sapperstein as 28 Walker developed several phases of the 20-acre McHenry Row project and was involved in the development of Silo Point and the surrounding townhomes. Farcosky praised Sapperstein for adding traffic guards to McHenry Row at rush hour as many Locust Point residents would cut through McHenry Row to get back home.

Farcosky said some of the issues brought up for the new townhome development involved traffic patterns and green spaces. He noted LPCA has been asking the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (DOT) for a parking study for two years as traffic has increased with all the new development, but LPCA has not made any progress. Sapperstein has said he will fund a traffic study for the neighborhood.

Sapperstein was interested in building a pool at Latrobe Park for the Locust Point community, but with LPCA deciding the logistics of that wouldn’t work, he is looking to improve the ball fields adjacent to the development site which are part of Francis Scott Key Elementary Middle School and Latrobe Park. Sapperstein has experience in a project like this as he partnered with South Baltimore Little League to improve its fields adjacent to McHenry Row.

Sapperstein is also planning new head-in parking spaces for the Locust Point Community on the existing Decatur St. and an extension of Decatur St. that would more than double the existing parking spaces. The improvements to Latrobe Park also could include a new 50-space parking lot.

A redevelopment of the PQ Corporation site will involve an environmental cleanup that 28 Walker will partner on with PQ Corporation. A rail spur will be removed from the site as well.

Sapperstein is hoping to begin work on the site at the end of the year. 28 Walker will install all the site infrastructure and a national home builder will construct and sell the homes in phases.

The homes will be 35 ft. tall and will be three- to four-bedroom homes with two-car garages and rooftop decks. Sapperstein said there will be great landscaping throughout the new community.

The homes will be on two blocks facing Decatur St. and a new north/south street that will connect with Fort Ave. New alleys will be constructed to access the garages.

The PQ Corporation site is adjacent to McHenry Row, which has apartment buildings, office buildings, and retail, but is separated by CSX tracks at a lower grade.

Sapperstein said he decided on townhomes for the new project because it would be “the least impactful development.” He said the site would make sense for a distribution facility with its access to highways and rail infrastructure and that a new apartment building would “certainly lease up,” but he is trying to do something “more soft” with the least impact on traffic. He noted this was especially important as the site shares Decatur St. with Francis Scott Key Elementary Middle School.

This will be the largest townhome development on the South Baltimore Peninsula since Sapperstein partnered with Pulte Homes on the 121-towhome McHenry Pointe project in 2006.

Overhead shot courtesy of Google Maps

Site plan courtesy of 28 Walker and Kimley Horn (click to enlarge)

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