$77M Mixed-Use Project in Baltimore Makes Official Debut

Baltimore--The Fitzgerald, a 275-unit mixed-use residential property in Baltimore, has officially reached completion two years after construction commenced.

Baltimore–The Fitzgerald, a 275-unit mixed-use residential property in Baltimore, has officially reached completion two years after construction commenced. A joint venture endeavor involving The Bozzuto Group, Gould Property Co., the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and former Baltimore Raven Michael McCrary, the $77 million development occupies a 4.6-acre parcel owned by the University of Baltimore, and is a key component of the school’s redevelopment of the surrounding Mount Vernon cultural district.

Bozzuto, acting as developer and builder of The Fitzgerald through its Bozzuto Development Co. and Bozzuto Construction Co. subsidiaries, kicked off construction of the building at a time when the economic downturn was just beginning to take a bite out of the national apartment market. Despite the worsening conditions and the freezing up of the credit markets, the joint venture was able to secure the appropriate financing get the project underway. Bank of America and RBS Citizens provided a $52 million construction loan, and NYSTRS served as the primary source of funding behind a $23 million equity contribution.

Located at 1201 West Mt. Royal Ave., just blocks from the university, The Fitzgerald encompasses studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and a lengthy list of coveted amenities that includes a 2,000 square-foot fitness center and yoga studio; three lounges; a movie theater, a business center; and conference facilities. Among its more progressive features is a meditative courtyard, as well as a pet-friendly and smoke-free environment. Residents also have access to a 1,245-space public parking facility that is reachable from all floors. The building’s retail segment counts a 20,000 square-foot Barnes & Noble College Booksellers Superstore with a Starbucks café as its anchor, and will have additional tenants on its roster this winter. Additionally, the property is in line to achieve the title of largest LEED-certified apartment community in the Baltimore area.

Nationally, the apartment market is still in recovery, but you wouldn’t know it at The Fitzgerald. Doors opened to the first residents in June and now the property is 57 percent leased, a notable accomplishment in any economic climate. The property is catering to the increasing call for luxury rental accommodations in Baltimore. The Class A vacancy dropped 60 points from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010, according to a report by commercial real estate research firm Delta Associates and, at 3.6 percent, is outshining the national market, which has an average vacancy rate of 6.6 percent.