New joint venture formed for Montgomery Square


April 25, 1993|By Edward Gunts

A new development team has emerged for Montgomery Square, a 41-unit town house development planned for a vacant parcel near Federal Hill.

Builders Robert Agus and Bruce Scherr have formed a joint venture to complete the $6 million development within the area bounded by West Montgomery, West Henrietta, South Hanover and South Charles streets.

They presented plans to Baltimore's Design Advisory Panel last week that indicate the development will be one of the first in

South Baltimore to feature built-in two-car garages.

Designed by architect D. W. Taylor, the 20-foot-wide houses also would have three bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, and a total of about 1,500 square feet of living space. Starting prices would range from $145,000 to $155,000.

Mr. Agus said he and Mr. Scherr have a contract to buy the 1.24-acre parcel from a division of First American Bank, the lender that foreclosed on a team that previously controlled the property.

He told the review panel that his group was following the site plan that had been developed by the previous group and approved by the city. But the review panel encouraged him to rethink the plan and create a project that offered more variety in the housing types.

Panel members also encouraged the developers to build their houses in a configuration that takes better advantage of Churchill Street, a small street that runs through the construction site.

Mr. Agus said he would consider the panel's suggestions.

The new development team is the fifth in the past decade to pursue development plans for the parcel, one of the largest development tracts available near Federal Hill. Others have included groups headed by James J. Ward III; JFK Real Estate; Maleady, Roy and O'Brien; and RAR Associates.

Graul's Market, a Ruxton-based supermarket operation renowned for its gourmet foods and customer service, expressed interest in moving to the site as part of the JFK development. But zoning for the land was later changed to permit residential development only. Harold Graul Jr., president of the grocery chain, said he is still interested in opening a downtown store but has not found a site.

Preservation awards:

The Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission gave four awards this month. The recipients were:

* The Sudbrook community -- for the research and nomination of the Sudbrook Local Historic District, planned by Frederick Law Olmstead.

* Macks and Macks -- for restoration and reuse of "The Meadows," the 18th century home of Thomas Owings, into modern office space.

* Judith Kremen -- for her "outstanding preservation effort" as executive director of the Baltimore County Historic Trust.

* Ellen Jackman and Peter Savage -- for the coordination of state, national, local government and community and private nonprofit groups for the restoration of the 1819 Oliver House, one of the very few residential structures attributed to Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monuments in Baltimore and Washington.

Cylburn Hills

* Members of Cylburn Arboretum will discuss plans for Cylburn Hills, a $10 million, 102-unit housing development planned for a site next to the arboretum, at a meeting Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at 4915 Greenspring Ave.

* Architect Jorge Silvetti will be the next speaker in the 1993 Spring Lecture Series sponsored by the Baltimore chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He will talk about his work Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The cost is $10.

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