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BBJ: After 13 Years, West Baltimore Mega-Development Begins to Take Shape
December 11, 2017
The horizon of West Baltimore's Poppleton community has sprouted two new additions: The first buildings of a sprawling, $800 million development that will welcome new tenants in August.
The 32-acre development, called Center West, is located just west of Martin Luther King Boulevard at Fayette and Schroeder streets and is planned to ultimately hold 1,600 apartments and 3.2 million square feet of residential and commercial space in about a decade.
By mid-2018, the complex will officially open for business. It will offer apartments with high-tech and energy efficient features, a "resort-style" pool deck, 18,000 square feet of ground-evel retail and large residential windows with vistas of sunrises and sunsets on Baltimore's horizon.
"It's been 13 years in the making," said Daniel Bythewood Jr., president of New York-based La Cite Development LLC, on Thursday, of the circuitous path to the groundbreaking Jan. 18.
Financing woes, the Great Recession, planning and revisions and a skeptical pass through City Hall while pursuing a $58.9 million tax increment financing package in 2015 marked some of the holdups in the project that was first unveiled under the administration of former Mayor Martin O'Malley.
Today, though, that is all in the rear-view mirror. Bythewood said that beginning in 2019, La Cite is planning to add about 400 new units per year to the development. Rental prices for the studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units have not yet been set.
The two multi-family buildings going up this year are located at 101 and 201 N. Schroeder St. and stretch well above the traditional two- and three-story row homes in the community anchored by the University of Maryland BioPark to the east.