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Baltimore Business Journal: Bozzuto, H&S Properties Partner on 'Absolutely Stunning' Harbor East Project

October 14, 2014

As published in the Baltimore Business Journal.

Bozzuto Group is partnering with H&S Properties Inc. on an ambitious project that will be among the tallest buildings in Harbor East and could cost as much as $100 million.

The companies are plotting a 291-unit apartment tower that will include 49 condominiums and between 50,000 and 60,000 square feet of retail on a site just south of the H&S Bakery distribution center. The building is slated to be 280 feet tall, or 70 feet shorter than the 24-story Legg Mason building at 100 International Drive, said Bozzuto President Toby Bozzuto.

"We don't want this to be just one of the best projects in Baltimore. We want it to be one of the best in the country," Bozzuto said. "The architecture's going to be absolutely stunning. I think it'll be one of the most beautiful buildings that we've ever been a part of."

Greenbelt-based Bozzuto began talks with the Paterakis family, known for both developing the tony Harbor East neighborhood and for owning H&S Bakery, about 18 months ago. Bozzuto expects ground to break on the $75 million to $100 million project within a year.

The land for the building is a surface parking lot bounded by South Central Avenue and Lancaster, South Eden and Aliceanna streets. It's one of two parcels the Paterakis family has targeted for redevelopment since announcing a deal to move the H&S distribution center to Hollander 95 business park.

The building likely would include an expanded version of the existing Harbor East Whole Foods. H&S Bakery founder John Paterakis Sr. has said Whole Foods will move to one of two sites the company owns. Bill Paterakis, the president of H&S Bakery subsidiary Northeast Foods, could not be reached for comment.

The new building will include "a large grocery store," Bozzuto said, as well as "a mezzanine cafe, a wine store and perhaps some other retail."

Bozzuto has had a long relationship with the Paterakis family in Harbor East. Bozzuto manages the 18-year-old Promenade at Harbor East apartment building and partnered with H&S Properties on Spinnaker Bay, a 315-unit building that includes 32 condominiums.

The success of that building — including the sale of the condominiums — gave Bozzuto confidence to develop another complex that will include for-sale housing units. Developers have been cautious about waterfront condominium development because of the sluggish sales in earlier projects such as Harborview, but Bozzuto said that as long as a condo project isn't "extraordinarily large, you can do well."

There are also condominiums planned atop the nearby Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. Construction has not yet begun.

The Bozzuto-Paterakis partnership hired D.C.-based Hickok Cole Architects following a design competition. Bozzuto said the building is being designed in a stepped formation to avoid creating a monolithic building that would block views of nearby buildings such as the Eden.

"Like we did with Spinnaker Bay, we're trying to break it into smaller spaces while keeping it energetic and looking out on the water," Bozzuto said. "Mediocrity is not acceptable to us and we want to build the most extraordinary building in Baltimore."

Before the building begins the city's design approval process, Bozzuto said the partnership is holding a series of meetings with neighborhood groups to gather input. That process helped inform the design of Union Wharf in Fells Point, widely seen as setting a new standard for apartment development in Baltimore.

"We want to work with the community and make sure they're comfortable with it," Bozzuto said. "I don't want to understate the significance of this project. This lot has just an incredible opportunity."