ZOM – Banner Hill Apartments


ZOM is working to bring luxury living to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

with the construction of Banner Hill Apartments.

By Eric Slack

A leading luxury multifamily real estate developer, ZOM is making its mark in many parts of the United States. Founded in 1977 by a Dutch oil company executive who targeted Florida for real estate investment opportunities, ZOM is today an award-winning U.S. multifamily development company. Having joint-ventured or directly developed more than 16,500 apartments, ZOM has successfully built off of a legacy that began by investing in land and developing single-family residential and commercial, office and retail projects.

ZOM’s focus on multifamily development began in 1990 with several multifamily projects in and around Orlando. Throughout the 1990s, ZOM’s focus on multifamily development grew in major Florida markets such as Tampa Bay, Orlando, Miami, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. In 2000, ZOM expanded beyond Florida and now has regional development offices in Texas and Washington, D.C., in addition to its Orlando and Fort Lauderdale offices.Zom Fact Box

“ZOM focuses on high-end, high-style and high-design urban infill projects that are transit-oriented and have good walkability as well as neighborhood amenities,” says Andrew Cretal, senior vice president of ZOM Mid-Atlantic.

Under Development

Among the projects that ZOM is currently focused on is Banner Hill Apartments, a 349-unit luxury residential apartment community in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore. The project is a joint venture with an institutional investor and the general contractor is CBG Building Company, a division of Clark Construction Group.

“Construction cost on the project is about $67 million,” Cretal says. “We bought the project site from a Baltimore based foundation, which is focused on promoting all things in Baltimore and Maryland. Conversations to buy the property started in early 2013.  From there we were able to control the property and manage the initial approvals.  We got the green light to go ahead with development in early 2014. Permits and financing were lined up and closed on the property in August 2015.”

Construction on Banner Hill has begun and ZOM and its team are building a Type 3 podium project with wood frame construction. There will be two levels of below grade parking. The first level has an elevated concrete deck, topped by five stories of wood frame construction. The first units and amenities will be delivered by mid-2017, and Banner Hill should be completed by January 2018.

Banner Hill will include unique design elements and unit upgrades that will appeal to younger singles and couples, as well as baby boomers looking to downsize to a more urban, walkable and amenity-rich location. Centrally located between several pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, including the Inner Harbor, Historic Federal Hill and Harbor East, Banner Hill will be within easy walking distance to a multitude of shops, restaurants, and cultural and entertainment venues.

“The location is one of the standout elements of the project as it is one of best in the city in terms of walkability and nearby amenities,” Cretal says. “It is nearby to the business district and a MARC station for commuting, and it is near to restaurants and shopping venues as well as Camden Yards and the Ravens stadium.”

Banner Hill Apartments will feature a main amenity level on the first floor where residents will enjoy a spacious e-lounge, a membership-quality fitness center and a sports simulator. Other amenities include lushly landscaped courtyards, which surround a resort-style pool located on the second floor. Common areas and amenity spaces are set up to encourage and foster interaction among residents and provide a variety of social settings and activities for them to enjoy within the confines of the community.

“A lot of today’s renters in the millennial age want spaces where they can socialize,” Cretal says. “That is why there is an extensive amenity package in the building.”

Interior unit features will include island kitchens, stainless steel appliances, granite slab countertops in kitchens and baths, vinyl plank flooring in living areas, walk-in closets, private balconies and upgraded fixtures. Units will range in size from 528 to 1,325 square feet.

“The fit and finish along with the overall unit layouts will meet the needs of our target audience,” Cretal says. “Having vinyl plank wood flooring throughout the units will be a distinctive element.”

Leaving a Legacy

Like all projects, Banner Hill Apartments has its challenges. For example, ZOM had to demolish an existing parking garage owned by an adjacent church. It will rebuild the garage, which will be delivered sometime later this year. Additionally, a church-owned plaza will be rebuilt as part of the project. Other challenges include working around the weather, but Cretal believed the team on the project is doing a masterful job preparing for any issues that may arise.

“We have a great team at ZOM, and along with the people at Clark and on our architectural and engineering teams, everyone is doing great to keep us on schedule and on budget,” he says.

As with every project that ZOM builds, Banner Hill Apartments is being designed in a way that can be timeless and provide lasting value to its investors and to the community.

“Not only is it important that we deliver a project that provides value to our investors but it is also important to the city and the neighborhood, as well as to the building’s residents,” Cretal says. “We think the design and amenities on this project will be a great addition to the neighborhood and will allow residents to enjoy living in this part of Baltimore.”


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