If you follow Baltimore City and the surrounding suburbs, you’d know that local and out-of-town developers are flooding their market with new apartment projects. Multiple huge new destinations like Locust Point and Harbor East create a lot of buzz in the city and the press, but the real thing to learn about Baltimore is the ease of doing small infill apartment projects.
Successful local developers are focusing in on converting former office or industrial buildings both near hot zones like the Inner Harbor and scattered around various urban neighborhoods. “If you’ve been doing projects in DC going back 15 – 20 years, you’ve seen this before,” said Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker of UrbanLand Company. “Emerging neighborhoods are the name of the game. Small apartment conversions lead the charge as pioneers, followed by higher housing prices & for-sale product popping up.”
The city’s strongest demographic is millennials and those even a little bit younger. Their average income in Baltimore is $50,000 and under, although they often have stable employment. The city is regularly getting recognition for the strength of its professional job market and similarities to Washington, DC.
“The low costs of entry for developers into small infill apartments transfers down to millennials; they can afford the built-in value that comes with emerging neighborhoods,” commented Gerard. “These are loyal tenants that seek out older urban architecture and keep your investment producing cash until you convert & sell the units once prices rise.” Here’s several of the current projects leasing from local Baltimore developer Zahlco.
Two thirds of the apartment-seeking population are young singles and young couples, and half of the group is relocating in from outside the city limits. They’re choosing Baltimore City due to affordability relative to cities like Philadelphia and nearby Washington, D.C.
Redevelopment projects in the city are often eligible for preservation tax credits, and the city permitting process is easy to navigate. “I recently finished up a full rehab and expansion of a mixed use building in Hampden to be our Baltimore office,” continued DiRuggiero. “The permit process was easy – the city is very attentive and efficient. We received our usage and occupancy permits at the same time as our final fire inspection was complete. It was like this all through the buildout process.”
For more information on Baltimore infill projects and what to expect, email us or call 202.335.2201.