Downtown Baltimore Making Big Moves. Here's How.
With hundreds of apartment units coming on line this year, a new grocery store and an Under Armour-branded gym, downtown Baltimore has been getting plenty of real estate action in recent months. We spoke to three of our panelists speaking at The Future of Downtown Baltimore at the Four Seasons Baltimore Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 12, starting at 7:30am.
Developers continue to convert more historic buildings into apartments, catering to the multitude of Millennials moving into the city. Metropolitan Partnership is turning 10 Light St (pictured) into 400 luxury apartments, with a 42k SF Under Armour Performance Center, salon, spa and sauna among its key amenities. Tenants are moving into PMC Property Group's loft-style apartments at 26 S Calvert St, which features a rooftop deck, ping pong table and mini basketball court. And JK Equities debuted the 189-unit 10 N Calvert St last month, offering tenants a rooftop dog park and yoga studio. (Dwellers and their dogs can practice a downward dog.) “Calvert Street is coming back to life,” says Kirby Fowler, president of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. “It’s very encouraging to see.” While it’s too soon to say how well the new apartment buildings will fare, downtown Baltimore apartments average a 94% lease rate, Kirby says.
Luckily, these new downtown residents have a place to buy their milk and bananas when Streets Market & Café opens at Charles and Saratoga streets in September. The spot has been vacant since late 2013, when Fresh & Green's closed. Having a downtown grocery store is critical to attracting new residents, says Kirby (second from right, with Downtown Partnership’s employees of the month). On the office side, Corporate Office Properties Trust is purchasing Baltimore’s tallest building at 100 Light St for $121M. “It makes me feel more bullish on the future of downtown,” Kirby says.
Artemis Properties EVP David E. Johnson is marketing 10 N Charles St (pictured), the former home of Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, to prospective tenants. Artemis is Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos' real estate company. Rather than leasing it to an office tenant, David says 10 N Charles should remain an educational center for either a university or even a group of real estate professionals.
Artemis is also looking for tenants to fill the former Fidelity & Deposit Cos. tower at 210 N Charles St, which totals 225k SF. He says he’s not sure if the building will be used for apartments, a hotel or office. “As soon as we find a use for it, we’re going to develop it," David says. He’s pictured with Charm City Concierge employees before an Orioles American League playoff game.
Baltimore startup Kinglet may have a solution to fill downtown Baltimore's office buildings, which had a nearly 16% vacancy rate in Q2, according to MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services. The company is appealing to the growing number of independent contractors searching for short-term leases for spaces under 5k SF, says co-founder Jeff Jacobson, pictured snowboarding in British Columbia. Kinglet features 650 listings in Greater Baltimore, DC and Northern Virginia, including co-working and incubator spaces. Kinglet will offer listings in Philadelphia in the third quarter this year and New York fourth quarter, Jeff says.
You can hear these speakers and more talk about the office, hotel and retail market in downtown Baltimore. Join us for The Future of Downtown Baltimore at the Four Seasons Baltimore Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 12, starting at 7:30am. Sign up here.