First of 120 new townhouses going up on North Avenue

Nearly eight years after developers David Bramble and Mark Renbaum announced their intention to build market-rate townhouses, apartments and offices off North Avenue near Bolton Hill’s northern border, construction has begun on an initial strip of residences facing Park Ave.

They are the first of 120 townhouses to be built on the several acres now called Reservoir Square. These initial model units will go on sale around June, according to the Ryan Homes website. Ryan, which has built some 40 recent housing developments in the Delmarva/southern PA region, has acquired the right to build the townhouses from MCB Real Estate, which is the overall developer. MCB is led by builder David Bramble, the Madison Park resident who also has been chosen to redevelop the city’s Inner Harbor.

According to Theresa Stegman of MCB, construction continues on the remaining site infrastructure improvements, and “barring any unforeseen issues, we anticipate having all the new (interior) road extensions in place by this June. There will also be right-of-way work happening in North Avenue over the next several months.

“In preparation for installing the new traffic signals, our traffic contractor Traffic Systems Inc. (TSI) will begin saw cutting and other prep work to get conduits in place for the new signals. The prep work will move from Park down to Eutaw and we will try to move continuously, barring any underground surprises.” She said to expect travel lanes on North Avenue to be restricted at times. Following behind TSI will be a work crew modifying curbs and gutters for new bus stops and bump outs, and then moving to median improvements. That likely also will affect traffic.

Stegman said Ryan expects to price the townhouses from the high $300,000s to low $400,000s. Although interest rates are higher than at the time the project began, she said the builders are bullish about the market. “There are no other new townhouse residences in the area at that price range,” she said. Ryan houses on the market in the region range from high $300,000 to mid $800,000 pricing.

The next phase of construction will be a 200-unit apartment building at the corner of Park and North, with groundbreaking expected as early as this summer and is projected to take 21 months. Scheduling for a third-phase mixed-use office building with retail shops and a 15,000 square foot grocery is less clear, Stegman said.