The former Highlandtown Middle School, known to some residents as Hampstead Hill, at the block bordered by S. Robinson St., E. Pratt St., E. Lombard St., and Ellwood Ave., should be fully converted to rental apartments sometime next summer, according to Shaffin Jetha, a principal at Focus Development.
Focus Development is managing the project in a joint venture with Kimsley Equities, Jetha said.
The plans call for 138 apartments and approximately 146 parking spaces, though the develpers are frequently “getting one and losing one,” according to Jetha.
Jetha said that there will be some studio apartments, some one-bedroom units, some single-bedroom units with a den, and some two-bedroom units. About 28 units will be bi-level, built in “true loft” style, according to Jetha.
Studios will be approximately 580 square feet; one-bedrooms 720 square feet, and two-bedrooms about 1400 square feet.
“In general, this model is exactly the same unit you would get at Harbor East or other high-end places by the water, but 25-30 percent cheaper,” Jetha said.
He added that while the complex is not required to offer affordable housing, the apartments will be what is considered “work force housing,” aimed at renters with an income in the $60,000 range. A one-bedroom rental could go for about $1,300 per month, Jetha said.
Jetha added that an industiral hygienist was on the construction site to make sure environmental regulations were being followed.
Paula Montgomery, Program Director for the Maryland Department of the Environment’s lead program, said that a representative of her office responding to nearby residents’ concerns had found nothing wrong at the site.
by Erik Zygmont