The Bozzuto Group and Harbor East Management Group partnered with Hickok Cole to design a new exclusive waterfront property. The result is Liberty Harbor East — a 775,000-square-foot mixed-use development situated between the Baltimore’s two most desirable neighborhoods, Inner Harbor and Fells Point, offering unobstructed views of the Patapsco River and the Inner Harbor — and the Best High-Rise Apartment Community for the 2020 Multifamily Pillars for the Industry Awards.
“When we first saw this site, it was exciting to see all the new development this part of Baltimore was experiencing,” stated Laurence Caudle, AIA, principal and director of housing at Hickok Cole. “We wanted Liberty Harbor East to feel like a natural part of the community, while enjoying its own unique identity and taking advantage of all the site had to offer.”
Occupying an entire city block, the monumental development comprises four major components, including 282 apartment units and 33 luxury condominiums, resting atop six levels of above-grade parking and a two-story, 68,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market and outdoor café facing the river.
Because of the site’s high-profile location, the project team worked closely with the city and neighboring community groups to ensure the design blended well with the context of the surrounding area; the project underwent several design iterations and more than 20 presentations before finally receiving approval for construction. The design team created continuity with the adjacent neighborhoods through the predominate use of masonry for the building’s façade, lending a residential character consistent with the city’s collection of town homes. White bricks begin on the third floor along the southern façade to help distinguish the condominium units, gradually curving toward the 16th floor in a sail-like shape reminiscent of the ships once docked along Baltimore’s waterfront.
“Rather than translating the existing architectural fabric into a high-rise, we created a tower that seems sculpted by the harbor breeze to maximize views for all residents,” Caudle added. “The light palette is a homage to the white ship sails in the harbor, but also creates a beautiful reflective quality that draws the eye up from the street.”
The community parking garage faces Central Avenue and features an industrial-style exterior of medium gray brick masonry selected to contrast with the condominiums and the double-height glass exterior of the Whole Foods below. A dynamic metal tube sculpture and light installation affixed to the garage exterior traverses the height of the building and serves as a nod to the sailboat masts in the harbor.
To break down the development’s scale, the apartment component is divided into two towers, the tallest of which reaches 288 feet high. Rental apartments on the ninth through 22nd floors offer outstanding views of the city and harbor with unit sizes ranging from studio to three-bedrooms, including superior penthouse level units on the top two floors. The development’s 33 condominiums deliver unparalleled elegance with expansive light-filled units and glass-lined balconies for outdoor dining and breathtaking views.
“Liberty Harbor East is a remarkably designed mixed-use high-rise community,” one Pillars judge observed. “The innovative building design utilizes transitions in the different building sections and façades, which makes it interesting and unique in the urban landscape. The community’s modern and open floor plans, attractive interior finishes, and impressive amenities will help Liberty Harbor East achieve long-term operational success in its market.”
A large, landscaped amenity terrace sits above the parking garage on the ninth floor, and includes an infinity pool, cabana lounge, outdoor amphitheater, dog park, and dining and grilling areas. A clubroom, study, library, and large fitness center and yoga room surround the amenity terrace, creating a truly amazing gathering space for all residents to enjoy. Designated entrances for the apartment and condominium are located at the northeast and southeast corners of the building and feature sleek, elegant double-height lobby spaces to welcome guests.