Topping-off ceremony today for HarborView condos


June 24, 1992|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,Staff Writer

Developers of Baltimore's HarborView condominium community will reach a construction milestone today when contractors place the final steel girder in the frame of a $100 million, 27-story tower called 100 HarborView Drive.

More than 600 people have been invited to the topping-off ceremony, which will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the pier

that overlooks the construction site, just off the 1200 block of Key Highway.

"It's a big occasion," said Thomas N. Marudas, vice president of HarborView Properties Development Co., the developer. "We have another nine months of construction to go and we'll be done. The building is beginning to take real form and definition."

The tower, which has 254 condominiums and is due to open in the spring of 1993, is the first residential component of a $600 million, 42-acre community designed to contain up to 1,590 residences when complete. Already open are a three-story restaurant and sales center and a 250-slip marina. A barge with a swimming pool will be added later this summer.

Mr. Marudas said about 90 of the 254 units have been reserved, including six of the 12 penthouses. Starting prices on the smallest units have risen from $129,000 in mid-1990, when construction began, to a base price of $161,000. Prices range up to $1.7 million for the largest penthouse, and a $5,000 refundable deposit is required to reserve a unit.

The developers say they've seen increased visitor traffic at the sales center in recent months and expect even more prospective buyers to come through as the building nears completion. Many of the earlier reservations were made by people who were flexible about their move-in date. But now the sales team expects more interest from people who plan to move at a specific time.

HarborView was conceived by Richard Swirnow, president of HarborView Properties, which is in partnership with Parkway Holdings of Singapore. The first tower was designed by the Columbia Design Collective of Columbia, with Vlastimil Koubek of Washington, Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Mass., and Swanke Hayden Connell of New York.

Air rights bill

In the final session before its summer recess, Baltimore's City Council passed a bill that developer Leonard Attman needs in order to acquire the air rights above the sidewalk along the south side of Redwood Street, east of Charles Street.

Mr. Attman wants to build a 29-story, 343,000-square-foot office tower called the Baltimore Financial Center at the southeast corner of that intersection and wants to use the air rights above the sidewalk in order to construct a less narrow building.

The council ordinance, which needs the signature of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, would amend the financial district urban renewal plan to permit sale of the air rights. It drew strong opposition from neighboring property owners who argued in public meetings that the sale of air rights would set a bad precedent for downtown development and result in a building that is too large for the site.

Colts property

Baltimore real estate officials are negotiating with the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. about the possibility of selling more than 38 acres of city-owned land off the 11000 block of Bonita Avenue in Owings Mills -- part of the former Baltimore Colts training complex site.

Shirley M. Summers, special projects coordinator for the real estate department, said BG&E officials want to buy the land so they can build a substation to serve the growing northwest section of Baltimore County. She said she expects the sale to bring about $4.3 million.

The Price Co. of San Diego, developer of the Price Club warehouse shopping centers, was the original high bidder for the Owings Mills property when the city offered it for development more than a year ago, with an offer of $4.75 million. But Price dropped out when the land could not be rezoned quickly for retail use.

Under its plan, the city would retain the training camp and adjoining practice fields for use in case Baltimore gets a National Football League franchise. The city bought the entire 100-acre tract from Colts owner Robert Irsay in 1986 for $4.6 million.

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