Bridging the Housing Gap Overview

CREWBaltimore hosted more than 85 attendees at the Bridging the Housing Gap Luncheon on September 10, 2019. Guest speakers included Kelly Cantley of Bozzuto Construction Company, Liz Henderson of Greystar, Christine Madigan of Enterprise Homes and Scott Zimmerly of Woods Partners. The panel was moderated by CREWBaltimore member, Christine Espenshade.

The Baltimore multifamily market has seen significant growth in the past 6-7 years with nearly 2 million square feet of antiquated office buildings converted to apartments during that time. There are currently 7,000 new units coming online in the next 35 months. Nearly 3,600 units have absorbed in the past 12 months, and rents have grown 2.6% in the same time period. Investors and developers believe strongly that supply will match demand in this cycle, unlike how 2015 saw negative absorption due to a large influx of units to the market.

Liberty in Harbor East is one of the newest developments by The Bozzuto Group and H&S Properties which features 282 units for rent and 35 condominiums. Condominiums have traditionally not sold as quickly in Baltimore, which is very much a “Rowhome” city, but investors believe that trend is turning. Condo owners enjoy the same amenities as their renter neighbors, which include shared office space, dog parks, Peloton bikes, fire pits, swimming pools, and more. Other notable projects include the 267-unit Alta Federal Hill project planned on S. Hanover Street by Woods Partners. The Wheelhouse project developed by 28 Walker recently opened in Federal Hill and is Baltimore’s first co-living apartment building consisting of 2 – 4 bedroom units that are available for rent by the bedroom. The concept has been successful in other markets like San Francisco and Philadelphia, with the hope that it is equally well received in the Baltimore Market.

Affordable housing in Baltimore has traditionally been viewed in a negative light due to often dilapidated conditions. However, organizations like Enterprise Homes seeks to reinvent what affordable housing looks like. Metro Heights at Mondawmin is a 70-unit building, 63 of which are Affordable. The building boasts amenities such as a club room, business center, fitness room, yoga studio, below-grade parking and is LEED Gold. With the assistance of tax credits and City and State funding, the result is an apartment building that has the same sleek design as other new apartment developments, and is a place residents are proud to call home.