Bethesda contractor Somerset Construction Co. has started developing a $60 million apartment complex at Baltimore Crossroads @95, the first residential development to crop up at the emerging 1,000-acre business park near White Marsh.
Somerset, the project's master developer, is hoping to tap into demand from the estimated 1,400 employees that now work at Baltimore Crossroads, as well as from the surrounding neighborhoods in eastern Baltimore County. Baltimore Crossroads is just north of the Martin State Airport and south of White Marsh.
Relatively few apartment complexes have been built there, and Somerset expects its Arbors at Baltimore Crossroads will command rental rates of between $1,200 to $1,900.
Developers are still working out how big the individual apartments will be at the Arbors, which will be 442,000 square feet and four or five stories tall.
"We think the demand exists," said Somerset President Michael Caruthers. "White Marsh tends to be more of an urban environment, and we're kind of stuck in the woods, so we're giving people a better environment."
Somerset is planning to seek Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program and plans to include features like charging stations for electric cars and a central boiling plant, rather than having boilers in individual apartments.
The firm broke ground on the project in December, and residents could be able to move in to the first of the 365 apartment units in October.
Meanwhile, Somerset and the park's other developers—among them St. John Properties Inc., Chesapeake Real Estate Group and First Industrial Realty Trust—hope the new apartments will draw other restaurants and shops, in turn sparking more demand from businesses interested in setting up shop there.
"We don't want Baltimore Crossroads to close down at 5 o'clock, because the retailers we're hoping to attract want to do business after 5 o'clock and into the evening hours and in the morning," said Gerard J. Wit, senior vice president of marketing for St. John.
The Baltimore developer is building the Retail Village piece of Baltimore Crossroads, slated to include up to 120,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, as well as hotel and office space. It has attracted Royal Farms to open a full-service convenience store at the site.
County and state officials spent $75 million to extend Route 43 to create better access to the business park with the hope it will eventually employ about 15,000 workers. The new road provides easy access to Interstate 95 and the Baltimore Beltway.
The idea of the project, completed in October 2006, was to make it easier for prospective tenants to gain access to Baltimore Crossroads by creating a direct connection between U.S. Route 40 and Maryland Route 150.
The developers also have attracted a handful of large employers to Baltimore Crossroads, including BGE Home, Danfoss Inc. and CDS Logistics Management Inc.
Most recently, Tire Distributors Inc. leased 38,000 square feet from Chesapeake Real Estate as part of an expansion from its Rosedale facility, and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland took another 21,500 square feet from St. John Properties.