Demolition Begins at Locust Point Plant, Will Become 112 Townhomes

| July 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

The former PQ Corporation plant at 1301 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point is now being demolished to make way for a 112-townhome development by Mark Sapperstein’s 28 Walker. The plant closed in January and Sapperstein first introduced this project to the Locust Point community in February.

Sapperstein told earlier this month that demolition should take about 60 days and they hope to start site work for the townhomes by the first of the year.

The property requires a zoning change from industrial to residential ‘R8’ zoning. 28 Walker and the Locust Point Civic Association (LPCA) are currently in negotiations on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) so LPCA can offer a letter of support for the project to the Baltimore City Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals (BMZA).

LPCA President Matt Farcosky told the focus of the MOU is on the configuration of the property and how it interacts with Decatur St. and the adjacent Francis Scott Key Elementary Middle School (FSK) and Latrobe Park. Sapperstein has proposed adding public head-in parking spaces on Decatur St.

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 FSK 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.

Farcosky said they are working on a package in the MOU that could include improvements to the neighborhood, FSK, and the park.

“Mark has been very active in listening to the needs of the community and making changes to the plan,” said Farcosky.

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.

The homes at the new development will be 35 ft. tall and will have three to four bedrooms with two-car garages and rooftop decks. Sapperstein said there will be great landscaping throughout the community. 28 Walker will install all the site infrastructure and a national home builder will construct and sell the homes in phases.

The 1301 E. Fort Ave. 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 in March 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 FSK.

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 (from March) courtesy of 28 Walker and Kimley Horn (click to enlarge)

Demolition photos

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