Towson Rising

24 June, 2019

Twenty minutes north of Baltimore, MD, cranes continue to command the skyline. Downtown Towson is booming, and with more than 700 residential units about to hit the market, people are coming to stay.

An alternative to downtown Baltimore, residents can enjoy the city vibe on a smaller scale, in a walkable community. But while development momentum is building, it’s not always smooth sailing. Developers face steep topography, tight urban space, and zoning hurdles. Bohler’s been involved in a number of new projects that have used creative design and leveraged regulatory updates to navigate these challenges and move forward.

Pulling from our team’s involvement in these projects, we are sharing ways Towson owners and developers have found success:

1. Identifying practical solutions to site challenges

The main drag of Downtown Towson is rather steep. Any development in the area faces challenging topography, as well as urban infill design constraints.

Project teams for successful projects like the ironically named Flats at 703 have found creative solutions. To overcome the site’s significant grade changes, Bohler worked with the architect to level the building foundation, designed to be partially buried. Facing area and height restrictions, Bohler again collaborated with the architect on design solutions that considered placement of amenities and the parking garage, while maximizing the number of units.

2. Attracting residents and tenants with luxury amenities

Be it outdoor gathering space, a swimming pool, or a roof deck with a view, we all want access to amenities that make us love where we live.

At Circle East, the design team embraced this desire, planning a luxurious, walkable, Main Street community. The residential component of this transformational project, Avalon Towson, will include a courtyard, fitness center with yoga studio, resort-style pool, dog park and pet spa, rooftop deck, and a full suite of indoor amenities. With a focus on walkability, the site will feature pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, landscaped streets, and an underground parking garage that will connect the retail and residential portions of the project.

3. Maximizing development benefits

Government grants, tax incentives, and a new Downtown Overlay District have encouraged developers to solidify their plans for Towson.

Some projects, such as Towson Row, have received grants and other funding intended to keep stalled projects moving forward. After the initial design hit a roadblock, Towson Row received a $43M grant. Bohler joined the new project team and redesigned the five-acre mixed-use development. The project will include 75,000 SF of retail/restaurant space, 150,000 SF of office space, and several hundred student beds for Towson University, as well as a multi-level parking garage and dual-branded hotel.

Timing is everything, and Towson’s time is now. Permanent residents and students alike will soon enjoy a vibrant, walkable community and resort-style amenities. Visionary developers, dedicated design teams, and forward-thinking city leaders came together to spark revitalization.

If you’re considering development in downtown Towson, contact Bohler’s team of professionals today.

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