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Apartment Complex Pitched for One Light St.

A Baltimore developer is pitching an apartment complex at a prime Inner Harbor spot that had previously been eyed for condos, a hotel, and offices.

J. Joseph Clarke, of J.J. Clarke Enterprises , is plotting a nearly 264-unit apartment tower for 1 Light St. A Baltimore City design panel is reviewing Clarke's plans for the 15-story unit, which would contain a three-level parking garage with 200 spaces and two retail spots totaling 12,000 square feet.

Clarke told the panel that the market demand is no longer there for an office tower, though he hasn't ruled out a hotel for the spot. The apartment market is one of the bright spots in the commercial real estate market. Apartment rents are rising while vacancies are declining in nearly every city tracked by research firm Reis Inc.

"There's a push to have more mixed use downtown," says Robert Quilter, an architect with the city's planning department.

Kona Grill, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and several hotels have livened nighttime activity in downtown in recent years. But filling the spot at 1 Light St. with full-time residents would add to the neighborhood's vibrancy, Quilter says.

"It's like a hole in the donut," he says of the property, which is a parking lot now. "It could contribute to downtown better than it is."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Robert Quilter, Baltimore City
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