Barrus Real Estate Group has just announced that it has contracted to purchase the Park Circle Apartments, a prominent and historically significant Reservoir Hill apartment building.
Built in 1911 by Ephraim Macht, who at the time was Baltimore's most prolific builders and prominent citizens, the Park Circle Apartments sits at the very top of Reservoir Hill, just across the street from Druid Park Lake. Adorned with stained glass and ornate moldings, hallways lined with Marble, Macht advertised the apartments as "housekeeper homes," staffed with housekeepers in the basement who serviced the apartments through a series of buzzers and dumbwaiters. In fact, the Park Circle Apartments were so well appointed and so well located, Macht moved in himself. His neighbors included his son's family, as well as several other well-to-do Baltimorean families. The building has seen better days, however - it has sat completely vacant since 2013, and has not been updated in any fashion since the 1960s.
Barrus plans to clean up and restore 7 existing apartments, bring back an eighth which was lost to mid-century renovations, and add a ninth in the basement with it's own entrance. In addition to restoring the largely intact original features of each unique apartment, Barrus will also bring the building up to current housing codes, update the existing electric and plumbing mechanicals, and add modern conveniences such as central air. Common amenities such as a large roof deck and secret garden are also planned. An ancillary property next door with two additional units will also be renovated.
Both buildings were acquired by Barrus in partnership with Reservoir Hill Quality Housing, a neighborhood development specialist, for $390,000.00. Roughly $500,000 is planned in restoration and upgrades. The planned tenant base will be students of nearby colleges and universities such as Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA), as well as a mixture of post-college millennials. Rents for the one, three and four bedroom apartments will range from the $900 to $1,600 range depending on size and number of beds and baths.
The building is expected to go live in late 2015 or early 2016.