More apartments, retail coming to Fell’s

Written by on July 3, 2013 in Featured, Neighborhood News - No comments

The Fells Point Station project includes 47 apartment units distributed between the historic Eastern District police station building and an attached new structure, which is currently under construction and shown here. - File photo by Erik Zygmont

The Fells Point Station, a 47-unit apartment complex with 2,800 square feet of retail space at the southwest corner of Bank St. and S. Broadway, should be completed by late fall, according to Dana Henson, vice president of Henson Development Company.

“We’ve been fortunate to be on time and under budget with all of our other projects, and I’m sure we’ll do the same here,” Henson said.

Henson Development Company is partnering with a nonprofit, Mission First Housing Development Corporation, on the Fells Point Station. The two companies have collaborated multiple times in the past, Henson said.

“We’re kind of a well-oiled machine, I would say,” she said.

The Fells Point Station is actually two projects. It includes both a renovation of the historic Eastern District police station—later a boys’ club—and an attached new building on what was once a metered parking lot at the corner of Broadway and Bank Street.

Bricks salvaged from the interior of the old police station are currently being used to renovate the facade of the historic building, Henson said.

“Historical preservation requires that the old brick be the same color of the new brick,” Henson said.

Additionally, though the two structures will share one interior, the new building must be a different height and different color than the old police station, per historical requirements.

“They want a delineation,” Henson said.

The project combines affordable housing with market-rate rentals—of the 47 apartment units, 34 will be reserved for those earning 30 to 60 percent of the median income. The other 13 units will be rented at the market rate. Eight units are specifically accessible to those with sight, hearing or mobility difficulties, Henson added.

All units have either one or two bedrooms.

The building, which is described as “transit oriented development,” is located on the Charm City Circulator Green Route, as well as Maryland Transit Authority bus routes. There will be 31 parking spaces for tenants, located on the ground floor of the structure, beneath a concrete pedestal that supports the residential space above.

Henson said that her company is hoping for a coffee-shop-type retailer for the ground floor—“a small kind of coffee, doughnut, danish kind of thing for the community.”

Originally, plans called for nearly 5,000 square feet of retail space, Henson said, but discussions with the surrounding community precipitated a decision to devote some of that space to additional parking.

In addition to the interior parking, the building will have a lobby, green roof/elevated courtyard, business center, fitness room and high-speed Internet access.

“It will have all the amenities you’re used to seeing in the area,” Henson said. “At the end of the day, it will compete with other projects in the area.”

According to Mission First HDC’s Web site, the project received 9 percent funding and loan funds from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as funding from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City and historical tax credit equity.

Henson said that her firm is already in leasing discussions with future tenants. More information is available at 410-773-9294.

by Erik Zygmont

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