Baltimore poised to sell west side properties for redevelopment
The AZ Group hopes to start construction next summer on about 50 apartments on the west side of downtown, after purchasing a collection of city-owned properties.
Baltimore would receive $79,000 for properties at 423-425 N. Howard Street and 217-225 W. Franklin Street under the terms of the land disposition agreement outlined on this week’s Board of Estimates agenda.
The Baltimore-based firm plans to invest about $5 million to create the apartments, as well as about 3,500 square feet of retail space, in a mix of new construction and renovated building, said AZ Group CEO Aziz Housseini.
The project, presented to the full board of the Baltimore Development Corp. in April, originally included offices and space for Robicelli’s Bakery, but those plans changed, in part because of investor appetite, Housseini said.
This will be the biggest project to date for 28-year-old Housseini, who grew up in Silver Spring and started renovating houses while in college at University of Maryland Baltimore County. His firm, which started in 2014, is also part of a team led by the Peebles Corp. that is in the running to lead the redevelopment of Penn Station.
Housseini said he was drawn to these properties for their location, close to new apartments created by the Time Group at 520 Park Avenue.
“There was a lot of activity happening at that intersection and I wanted to be a part of it,” he said.