Baltimore Warehouse to Become Apartments

The Mid-Atlantic Multifamily Group of Transwestern Commercial Services has been named the exclusive advisor for the adaptive-reuse project which could see more than 140 units created in the historic brick building.
1901 Light. St. Rendering courtesy of Transwestern Commercial Services

A historic Baltimore warehouse built in 1887 at 1901 Light St. will be transformed into multifamily housing and Transwestern Commercial Services’ Mid-Atlantic Multifamily Group is seeking a joint venture partner for the owner to make it happen.

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The 138,000-square-foot building could potentially support more than 140 apartments, according to TCS Executive Vice Presidents Dean Sigmon and Robin Williams and Vice President Justin Shay. They are members of the TCS Mid-Atlantic Multifamily Group that was named the exclusive advisor for the adaptive reuse of the property. Located in south Baltimore, the property is within walking distance of historic Federal Hill and the recently renovated Cross Street Market. The building is also adjacent to Interstate 95 and just north of Port Covington, a 226-acre development site that will include the future Under Armour headquarters campus.

“Ownership will plan to seek Maryland State Historic Tax Credits, which are submitted August 31 each year so the goal will be to identify a JV partner and work through design plans and financing in preparation for a submission in August 2020,” Shay told Multi-Housing News.

He added ownership will also seek Federal Historic Tax Credits for the adaptive-reuse project.

Shay said the complex was originally built as part of Matthai, Ingram & Co. and later established as the National Enameling and Stamping Co. (NESCO) in 1887. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Since 1952, Guardian Moving & Storage Co. has occupied space in the building. Operating as Ossian Investments, the firm is believed to have acquired the building in 1980.

He noted the building has unique features that will attract multifamily tenants such as high ceilings, historic brick façade and exposed wood beams.

Brian Siegel of the TCS Industrial Services team in Baltimore is helping Guardian relocate the storage facility, Shay said.

Stable Housing Market

While there has been a glut of multifamily deliveries in recent years, Sigmon said Baltimore continues to display strong multifamily market fundamentals. Annual absorption in the city was nearly 1,900 units, almost double citywide absorption a year ago, according to Delta Associates’ First Quarter 2019 Mid-Atlantic Class A Apartment Market Report. The Federal Hill/Locust Point submarket outperformed other Baltimore submarkets with 3.8 percent effective rent growth in the 12 months ending March 2019, the report noted.

The Baltimore multifamily market is relatively stable, according to a recent market report by Yardi Matrix. There were 5,200 apartment units under construction as of December, with about half of them scheduled for completion by year’s end. Because the supply should meet the demand generated by job trends and demographic expansion, average rent growth is only expected to rise 1.3 percent this year. Occupancy was 94.4 percent as of November, dropping just 10 basis points over 12 months, showing Baltimore can absorb moderate levels of new supply, the report stated.