Baltimore Sun: Bozzuto Breaks Ground on Union Wharf Apartments
December 13, 2011
The Bozzuto Group, long interested in building apartments on a parcel alongside the Fells Point waterfront, is officially breaking ground there today for a 281-unit upscale complex.
The project, part of the Union Wharf mixed-use development, will include nearly 5,000 square feet of commercial space that Bozzuto expects will be used by a restaurant.
The apartment market is yin to the housing-market yang, with rents rising and vacancies improving over the last few years while sale prices have fallen. Bozzuto builds for both markets, and CEO Tom Bozzuto explained in today's housing-market story why he thinks residents in their 20s will be heavily in the renter demographic.
More on Union Wharf:
The company expects construction will finish in November 2013, with some units ready for renting the previous summer. The complex will be one long, five-story building wrapped around a 500-unit parking garage, with several courtyards built along the promenade.
Bozzuto expects average rents will be comparable to its nearby Spinnaker Bay complex, somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,250 to $2,300 a month.
Not surprisingly at those prices, the company's executives believe their target audience won't be people who can't afford to buy a home.
"We're really catering to ... renters by choice," said Jeff Kayce, vice president of the company's Bozzuto Development arm.
The site, most recently used as a parking lot, was once industrial. Kayce said Bozzuto is working with the state to clean the site, mainly getting old concrete and rebar out of the ground and capping it.
The project, a joint venture with Cigna and the Pritzker Realty Group, has been a long while in coming. Tom Bozzuto says the company has been in discussions to build there for about a decade and got the land under contract two years ago.
"We have had great success with our properties in Baltimore to date, and we're very excited to be part of what we see as a rejuvenation of Baltimore," he said.