Baltimore Business Journal: Locust Point Mixed-Use Project Expands; Bozzuto Group Joins

February 14, 2013

The development project slated for the former General Electric Co. service site in Locust Point just got a little bigger.

Solstice Partners LLC, the development team behind the proposed 2.7-acre site, has purchased the HarborQue restaurant at 1421 Lawrence St. for $1.55 million. The acquisition will allow better traffic access to the development, which is proposed to include more than 200 apartments and 16,000 square feet of retail space, said Jeff Jacobson, principal for Solstice Partners.

“The property was pinched at the corner,” Jacobson said. “We feel like from a planning perspective, it creates a better project.”

Columbia-based Solstice, which is headed by Jacobson and principal Alex Kopicki, informed residents of the acquisition at a Wednesday meeting of the Locust Point Civic Association. The seller was Key Harbor General Partnership, according to state records.

The developers also announced that The Bozzuto Group will serve as co-developers for the apartment units and will serve as the property manager, Jacobson said.

“They are Baltimore guys,” Jacobson said of The Bozzuto Group. “They are leaders in the industry. They have delivered some incredible projects and we’re delighted to work with them.”

The likelihood of new life for the site became apparent in July when Solstice purchased the 1.8-acre site at 900 E. Fort Ave. from General Electric (NYSE: GE) for $3.5 million. Since then, the developers have announced plans for an approximately eight-story, McHenry Row-type development with retail and residential units.

HarborQue restaurant’s lease for 1421 Lawrence St. is set to expire soon, Jacobson said. He did not know when the Carolina-style barbeque restaurant would close.

The acquisition of the 9,278-square-foot restaurant will address two major concerns expressed by residents at the Nov. 15 Civic Association meeting — traffic on Lawrence Street and parking.

All parking for the development will be contained on site, Jacobson said. Plans for the site should be finished by the end of the summer, he said, with construction slated to start toward the beginning of 2014.

“It’s the kind of perfect redevelopment project,” he said. “It’s a vacant piece of ground that’s now going to be built into Class-A apartment buildings in Locust Point.”