New townhouse community proposed in Canton

Foes fear more congestion from 69 waterfront homes

December 11, 2003|By Scott Calvert | Scott Calvert,SUN STAFF

Yet another new mini-neighborhood is being planned for Canton, as developers move to cash in on the strong demand for the kind of high-end townhouses that have sprung up all along Baltimore's harbor in recent years.

The latest addition, the Moorings at Lighthouse Point, would consist of 69 three- and four-story brick townhouses at 2701 Boston St. The city's Design Advisory Panel will hear a presentation on the concept today.

With price tags well into the six figures, the new homes would join scores of townhouses recently built, or under construction, near the water at HarborView off Key Highway, at the west edge of Fells Point and at the North Shore at Canton complex a few blocks west on Boston Street.

"I just keep thinking, gosh, are there that many people out there that can really afford these things?" said David Martz, a real estate agent in Long & Foster's Fells Point office. "The answer is yes. They keep coming in."

Once dominated by apartments and condominiums, the water's edge has seen an increasing number of new houses that are bigger, wider versions of those edifices a few blocks inland that people usually refer to as "rowhouses."

The Moorings project is a venture of Dr. Selvin Passen, who developed the existing Lighthouse Point complex, and Cignal Corp. It was Timonium-based Cignal that recently transformed a stretch of Canton shoreline into North Shore, with 86 houses.

The Moorings will resemble North Shore, but more spread out, said Cignal Vice President Marco Greenberg. He did not know what the houses would sell for, but at North Shore 20 pier houses were listed at more than $700,000 and the other houses at over $400,000, according to Cignal's Web site.

Martz said residents of sold-out North Shore include a former Ravens football player, a car dealer, doctors and lawyers.

The goal is to begin building the Moorings sometime in the middle of next year, with residents moving in late in the year or early 2005, Greenberg said. Houses would range from 2,400 to 4,160 square feet, including a two-car garage.

The houses would rise to the west of Passen's "boatel," a large structure used to store boats, with three levels of apartments over it. The townhouses would go on space now occupied by a parking lot, outdoor boat storage site and an existing building whose tenants include a fitness club.

"The layout is designed to respect existing view corridors," Greenberg said. "When you're looking through the community, or are in the community looking out, you don't feel closed in at all."

The Canton Community Association has not taken a position on the Moorings project. But its president, Kim Stallwood, said yesterday that he has heard "grumbling" about congestion on the roads and other laments.

"Increasingly, people are talking with concern about the in- tensity of development in this neighborhood," he said. "While there are benefits that come with it, there are also anxieties."

Martz expects the townhouse trend to continue; he is working with a developer who plans to build six spacious townhouses on Aliceanna Street between Bond Street and Broadway. List price: $750,000.

Not that condominiums and apartments are becoming passe. Cignal plans a 10-story condominium building at 1400 Lancaster St.

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