Merritt Properties Plans Spec Office Tower In Canton
Merritt Properties is betting big on Baltimore's downtown continuing to grow and drift east for businesses.
The Baltimore-based developer is planning a 20-story, 200K SF speculative office building in Canton, beside the Canton Crossing shopping center, the Baltimore Sun reports. The company unveiled its plans at a Thursday hearing with the city's Urban Design and Architectural Review Panel, where it was approved with requests for modifications.
The ground floor would contain 9K SF of retail beneath nine floors of parking, with 10 stories of office space on top, with a glass facade accented with a "screen" of terra cotta. UDARP questioned the necessity of both the amount of parking and the screen, and Merritt promised to review both concerns.
Though it has not signed any tenants for the property, Merritt plans to break ground this year and complete the project by 2021, according to the Sun. The development will be built on what is now a parking lot between the Canton location of the company's Merritt Club fitness center and Boston Street.
On the other side of the Merritt Club is one of the only office buildings in the area so far, the 17-story CareFirst building completed in 2006. But with both tenant and investor interest moving east from the traditional center of downtown, Merritt is confident that its property will find occupants, although it remains to be seen where such office users would come from.
By the time the building is scheduled to finish in 2021, more multifamily will likely have been built in the area. Across Boston Street, Corporate Office Properties Trust is planning a $1B mixed-use development, but unlike Merritt, COPT is waiting to pre-lease an office tenant before beginning construction, according to the Sun.