Former Episcopal School in Pigtown to Become 30 Apartments

| May 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

Washington, D.C.-based developers Mike Azimi and Amir Zare have purchased the former St. Paul Episcopal Church complex at 859-861 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown and will be turning the complex’s former school building into 30 market-rate apartments. The 22,809 sq. ft. property, which dates back to 1920, also includes the church building, which is leased by Mobtown Ballroom, and five existing apartments in the former rectory.

The four-story former school is in the rear of the property behind the church. Azimi said he is currently working on the plans and hopes to pull permits and begin construction on the new apartments this summer. The complex will have one-bedroom, one-bedroom with a den, and two-bedroom units. The developers expect their primary tenants to be students from the nearby University of Maryland Baltimore.

The building, which includes a concrete, masonry, and steel frame, is the perfect canvas to work with according to Azimi. It includes a basketball court which will be converted to apartments, and artwork will line the hallways.

Azimi said the project is a multi-million investment. He hopes to have the apartments ready for lease by Fall 2021.

Whenever the existing five apartments turn over, Azimi’s team will go in and update the kitchens and bathrooms. He hopes Mobtown Ballroom continues to activate the church building for the foreseeable future. “I’m happy to have them, they are a staple for the neighborhood and the property. They were one of the attractive elements for purchasing the property,” he said.

Azimi said he has an adjacent property under contract where he will construct a new building that will have four “co-living” style apartments with five to six bedrooms. He will also add parking to the project.

Azimi has been investing in Pigtown since 2018. He now owns 20 additional rowhomes, which he rents in the community, and looks to add at least a new one each month. He said some were turnkey, some needed light renovation, and some needed a full renovation when he purchased them. He said his tenants have been mostly students, young professionals, and young families.

Azimi also does a lot of business in Washington, D.C. with more than 100 units in his development pipeline for the next 24 months.

Talking about Pigtown, Azimi said he likes the location because it’s much easier to get to than most Baltimore neighborhoods on his commutes from Washington, D.C. He has focused all of his recent Baltimore investments in Pigtown.

“It’s been affordable for us as investors and it’s close to Federal Hill. If you can’t afford to live in Federal Hill, you can live across the street in the same zip code. It is fit for workforce housing,” said Azimi. “We like the neighborhood and we are in it for the long haul.”

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