Developers for a massive new residential building in Federal Hills officially got the green light from the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel, despite concerns from the community.
The 224-unit apartment development, which will cost around $65 million, will be eight stories high and have a parking garage built in. Initially, the plan had called for an additional 81 units and a ninth floor, but that was cut as a concession to the public, who feared the building would overshadow the Digital Harbor High School next door.
Among the other concessions include the lighting of the building’s facade and additional area dedicated to landscaping in order to ease what Panelist Judith Meany described as a “long, unrelenting facade,” in a previous meeting, according to Baltimore Business Journal.
While the negotiations may have been protracted, there is a belief that they might ultimately benefit Bainbridge Companies, the Bethesda-based developers in charge of the project. Considering, for instance, the pressure to improve landscaping. While this might have delayed their development and cost a small amount of square footage, it might actually help them with buyers.
After all, 90% of real estate agents encourage homeowners to invest in landscaping when selling, and researchers from the University of Washington have found that better landscaping can lead to a 7% higher rental rates for commercial offices. That means that the extra hoop Brainbridge had to jump through might help them sell units in the long run.
“As painful as this process has been, it’s worked to your advantage,” UDARP member Pavlina Ilieva is quoted saying to Baltimore Business Journal. “It’s beautiful.”
While the approval process has been contentious at times, another UDARP member cited Bainbridge for taking the time to listen to and work with the review panel.
This project is just the most recent example of high-end housing being erected in Federal Hills. In fact, another luxury residential building recently opened less than a quarter mile away. The Anthem House is a 275 luxury unit development with studios starting around $1,700 a month.