North Shore builders get Army Engineers' OK to construct 12 pier houses at Canton project

October 07, 1990|By Edward Gunts

Developers of the $18 million North Shore at the Anchorage project in Canton have received final approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to build 12 "pier houses" planned as part of the project.

Robert Agus, a member of the developer team, said the approval came last week and is a key step in the group's effort to obtain the permits it needs to start work on the development, planned for the 2200 block of Boston Street in Canton.

The developers, Anchorage Plaza Limited Partnership, received permission from the state Board of Public Works last summer to build the pier housing and now need construction permits only from the city. Mr. Agus said he hopes to have them in time to begin preliminary site work this fall and to start building the houses by early 1991.

Although the local real estate market has been sluggish, the developers say they hope to fill a niche by providing an alternative to the high-rise and midrise condominium housing available elsewhere along Baltimore's waterfront.

They say North Shore is part of a second wave of waterfront housing that will be larger and more sophisticated than the waterfront residences built in the 1980s, including the first Anchorage town houses in the 2500 block of Boston Street.

"It's still Canton in the sense that it's brick town houses, but it's a different generation" of housing, Mr. Agus said. "We think there is a pent-up demand for quality town-house living on the waterfront."

"It's Canton brought up to date," said Anne Cunningham of Meredith Real Estate/Better Homes and Gardens, the broker for North Shore. "It's bigger, grander than anything else in the area."

The partners of Anchorage Plaza Limited Partnership are Manekin Development Associates, the general partner, and Louis Grasmick, Grant Grasmick and John Paterakis, the limited partners.

They originally planned to build a $30 million, 139-unit condominium and inn complex. But they modified their plans to include only town houses and pier houses, largely because they believed town houses would sell better than condominiums.

As designed by CHK Architects of Silver Spring, North Shore consists of 12 houses that will be built on a pier jutting into the harbor and 42 town houses on the north side of a public promenade along the waterfront.

Half of the 42 town houses will face the promenade, and half will be "courtyard" houses along Boston Street. The promenade houses will rise three stories, with all floors having a view of the harbor. The courtyard houses will rise four stories, with waterfront See SHORE, 3K, Col. 1SHORE, from 1Kviews from the third and fourth levels. In those houses, the living room and kitchen will be on the third level, and the master bedroom will be on the fourth.

Prices will start at $240,000 for the courtyard houses; $375,000 for the promenade houses and $500,000 for the pier houses.

Those prices make North Shore one of the most expensive town house communities ever planned for the Baltimore area. The developers say they hope to appeal to people who want to live on the waterfront but also have a yard for plants and pets, a garage, immediate access to a 58-slip marina and 2,200 to 4,000 square feet of living space.

The houses feature brick fronts with wood siding and look more like Eutaw Place in Bolton Hill or sections of St. Paul Street in Mount Vernon than most of Canton.

When the team launched sales last year for the original development, it got 40 reservations in the first weekend. Those initial deposits were never converted to contracts, however, because of the developers' change in plans.

Mr. Agus said four of the pier houses are already reserved but that the rest of the houses are available and that Meredith will open a sales center this fall. He said he expects buyers to include young professionals who want to live close to downtown Baltimore, middle-aged couples, empty-nesters and retirees. Some are likely to be moving up from other developments in the area, such as Canton Square and Anchorage Tower, he said.

Thomas P. Harkins Inc. of Silver Spring is the general contractor. The first phase to get under construction, Mr. Agus said, will be a group of houses on the east side of the property. They will be followed by the pier houses and then the houses on the west side of the site. The initial houses will be ready for occupancy by next May, and all of them should be ready by mid-1992, he said.

Richard Alter, president of the Manekin Corp., noted that the redesigned version of North Shore is far less dense than the previous version and not as massive.

"My only regret is that we didn't do this from the beginning," he said. "It would have been better for everyone concerned."

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