Hoping to capitalize on increasing growth east of the Inner Harbor, plans are in the works to build a new 205-room hotel with ground-level stores in Harbor East next year.
Englewood LLC and Chesapeake Real Estate Group
have reached an agreement to construct the property and 15,000 square-feet of retail space at a former warehouse building at 511 S. Central Ave. As the primary developer, Englewood will own and operate the hotel.
Chesapeake Real Estate Group will operate the retail space, says Ken Finkelstein, president of Bethesda's Englewood LLC. Construction would take about 18 months to complete if the project gets approvals from the city's zoning and design panels.
The planned hotel will be an upper mid-market brand, which means slightly more upscale than the neighboring Hilton Garden Inn and Courtyard by Marriott, Finkelstein says. He declined to say how much the project would cost or the hotel brand.
The developers purchased the property at 511 S. Central Ave. in December for $3.2 million, according to state property records. The building is in the preliminary stages of the development process so it's too early to say what kind of shops will fill the new construction, says Neil Tucker
, principal at Chesapeake Real Estate Group.
"This is a pretty dynamic area where lots of growth has occurred and more will occur as Harbor East and Harbor Point expand," says Finkelstein, who launched the development firm within the last year. Finkelstein is a former partner at the JBG Cos. of Chevy Chase, which has developed numerous hotels in the Washington area.
Finkelstein's new Baltimore hotel will face competition from the 256-room Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, which opened last year in Harbor East, and several other newer properties. But Finkelstein says he believes there is opportunity and room for another hotel in that neighborhood given the area's continued growth.
Baltimore City officials approved a 3 million-square-foot master plan
for Harbor Point, an area between Harbor East and Fells Point. The massive 500,000-square-foot regional headquarters for Chicago energy company Exelon Corp. will open there in 2014. Harbor East has seen an influx of national retailers with the recent openings of J. Crew, Anthropologie and MAC Cosmetics
and new restaurants. Gordon Biersch is spending $3 million to open a 329-seat eatery in October while Fleet Street Kitchen
will open next month.
Chesapeake Real Estate Group developed the Babgy Building
, which houses Fleet Street, Ten Ten
restaurant and several offices.
"We want to build upon the success of Harbor East with the Babgy Building project," Tucker says.
Source: Ken Finkelstein, president of Englewood LLC; Neil Tucker, principal at Chesapeake Real Estate Group
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, email@example.com