City apartments would become student housing under plans Queen Anne Belvedere would be fixed up, used by University of Baltimore

June 13, 1996|By A SUN STAFF WRITER

The financially troubled Queen Anne Belvedere apartments on Charles Street in Baltimore would become the University of Baltimore's first student housing complex under a proposal being considered by the city.

The $6.3 million proposal, from a group called the Queen Anne Belvedere Revitalization Limited Partnership, is one of four submitted to the city by groups vying to buy and renovate the 69-unit apartment complex at 1202 to 1218 and 1301 N. Charles Street.

Two other teams indicated that they also want to renovate the city-owned apartments to provide housing for university students and others, but they don't have the university's endorsement. The fourth group would provide housing for the elderly.

Housing commissioner Daniel P. Henson III received bids from developers in May and is expected to select one team by the end of this month. The bidders will present their proposals to the Mount Vernon Belvedere Improvement Association Tuesday.

The University of Baltimore agreed to be a partner in a team that includes Stanley Keyser of Keyser Development Corp., Louis Greenfeld and Maryland Property Group. If this project goes ahead, it would be the first student housing specifically designated for the University of Baltimore, whose campus is just north of the Queen Anne block and now has 5,000 full and part-time students.

Keyser said he approached university president H. Mebane Turner about joining forces to rehabilitate the block because he believes a collaboration would benefit both the university and the surrounding area. "The major element that's missing from the university is a residential component," Keyser said.

Turner said the University of Baltimore loses students to "competitors" that provide on-campus housing.

Studies indicate that 10 to 20 percent of all U of B students would live in university residence halls if they were available -- patronizing businesses, he added.

"If we had housing, I think it would greatly help us," Turner said. "And in helping us, it would have a dramatically positive effect on the neighborhood."

The development team indicated that two nonprofit university affiliates, the University of Baltimore Education Foundation and University Properties Inc., would have a majority stake in the project from the day it opens. In addition, the team indicated it would consider donating the entire parcel to University Properties after its tax credits are exhausted in about 20 years.

Turner said he agreed to join forces with the Keyser group because it has been active in the immediate area for 20 years and he believes its proposal is the strongest.

Turner said that does not necessarily mean the university wouldn't cooperate with another group if its proposal were selected.

The Keyser group's plan calls for the property to be refurbished by late 1997 to provide 69 apartments and street-level commercial space. Grieves Worrall Wright and O'Hatnick would be the architect, and Harkins Builders would be the general contractor. The property would remain on the city tax rolls.

Other proposals came from:

Savannah Development Corp. and St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center. It would spend $4.25 million to turn the property into The Delaware, with 73 apartments and 12,600 square feet of retail space. Point 3 Inc. would be the architect. Hencken & Gaines would be the general contractor.

Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, with assistance from The Time Group. It would spend $3.3 million to create 69 apartments and 14,500 square feet of commercial space. Murphy & Dittenhafer would be the architect, and Struever Bros. would be the contractor.

Adam Rishe, a developer who proposed to spend $1.5 million to create low-income housing for elderly residents and some market-rate apartments. Amos, Bailey & Lee would be the architects, and John E. Day & Associates would be the contractor.

The Charles Street buildings date from the 1880s. The city has owned them since a private group defaulted on a city-backed loan more than a year ago. Now about 70 percent occupied, the apartments were last renovated in the late 1970s and need to be refurbished inside and out.

Pub Date: 6/13/96

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