Apartment Concept Approved

City Preservation Panel Oks $17 Million, 72-unit Building

August 13, 2009|By a Baltimore Sun reporter

An empty lot at Howard and Madison streets in Baltimore would become the site of a $17 million, 72-unit apartment building called M on Madison, if a Columbia-based developer can obtain financing to build the project.

Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation voted this week to give conceptual approval to the design by Peter Fillat Architects.

The project originally was planned to be marketed as condominiums but was changed to rental housing after the condominium market slumped.

HTA Development LLC of Columbia, a Housing Trust of America company, is the lead developer. HTA is working this summer and fall to secure financing, including tax credits for affordable housing.

According to Meg Manley, senior vice president of development for HTA, the bulk of the apartments would have monthly rents starting at $642 for one-bedroom apartments and $800 for two-bedroom apartments.

Fillat's design calls for a six-story building with a 27-space parking lot. The roof would be landscaped and made accessible as an amenity for residents. Several apartments would have separate, ground-level entrances facing Howard Street.

The architects proposed that the exterior be a combination of brick, painted panels and corrugated metal.

The preservation commission voted to accept the proposed height, color and setbacks from the street.

Panel members questioned the location of the main entrance, the amount of corrugated metal used and several other details and asked the architect to consider making some changes.

Architect Peter Fillat said his team will continue working on the design and hopes to come back to the panel soon for final approval. He and Manley said HTA wants to get the design approved and the project funded in time to begin construction next June and open by June 2011.

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