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8-Building, 800-Unit Development Proposed Next To Baltimore Train Station

A conceptual rendering from MDOT's plan for a 797-unit project next to the Reisterstown Plaza Metro Station.

A 26-acre, state-owned site next to the Reisterstown Plaza Metro station in Northwest Baltimore is being targeted for a major project as the state pushes for more transit-oriented development. 

The Maryland Department of Transportation released a plan Tuesday calling for 797 multifamily units and 53K SF of retail across eight buildings, plus 65 townhouses. It also envisions 4.8 acres of public space and a parking garage, plus improvements to the station and surrounding infrastructure. 

The state is partnering on the project with Wabash Development Partners, a team of developers led by Dean Harrison. The team now must move through Baltimore's approval process, and it hopes to break ground by fall 2025. 

MDOT first put out a request for proposals in May 2021 and negotiated an agreement with the development team in June 2022. The team says it spent six months analyzing the site and meeting with community members before putting together the plan. 

MDOT applied for a $4.6M federal grant to kick off preliminary design and environmental work, and Assistant Secretary Tony Bridges told the Baltimore Business Journal he learned Tuesday that it was approved. 

The station is one of 14 along the Metro SubwayLink line that runs from Owings Mills in Baltimore County to Johns Hopkins in East Baltimore. MDOT says there are 179 acres of undeveloped property around the stations, and Gov. Wes Moore's administration has sought to encourage more TOD projects. 

"The Reisterstown Plaza Metro Subway station is a major transit hub for our region and an outstanding location to build transit-oriented development,” Maryland Transit Administrator Holly Arnold said in a release. “Investments in transit, such as this, are critical to the success of our region, decreasing traffic congestion, and reaching our climate goals.”  

One proposed TOD project in Baltimore County has revealed that vocal opposition exists to that type of development: Mark Renbaum's $225M mixed-use project next to the Lutherville Light Rail Station. A resident group has argued the project would overburden roads, sewer systems and schools and has lobbied to kill the project, holding signs that read "No Apartments, No Compromise."

The state is hoping to create more TOD opportunities by advancing plans for the Red Line, a planned east-to-west transit route that Moore revived last year after previous Gov. Larry Hogan scrapped it.

Building hundreds of apartments next to train stations could help encourage more people to use public transit. MCB Real Estate Vice President Adam Genn said at Bisnow's Baltimore State of the Market event this month that residents need to move away from their car-centric mindset and embrace transit to become a top-tier city. 

Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce CEO Brent Howard said at the event that he is "really excited" about the Red Line's ability to better connect the county to the city, but he is pushing for more development around train stations that exist today. 

"Something that we’ve been beating the drum on is the TOD, so building upon existing assets," he said. "We already have a transit system that crisscrosses our state and connects Baltimore to some of our other municipalities. We need to build upon that and continue to build housing."