“We wanted to do something special and flex our creative muscle, and we thought this was the right neighborhood to do that in,” says Bozzuto, who named the project after Baltimore native F. Scott Fitzgerald, who, with his wife, Zelda, had lived just two blocks away.
Bozzuto did flex, despite the tough circumstances—the deal closed on the eve of the worst financial meltdown in recent history. But Bozzuto persisted, turning the brownfield site (a former coal yard and tire facility) into Th e Fitzgerald.
Bozzuto received tax breaks from the city and state on the project, as well as a $50,000 grant. Bozzuto also cobbled together $52 million in debt from Bank of America and RBS Citizens, as well as $23 million in equity funded by a joint-venture partnership between Bozzuto, Gould Properties, former Baltimore Ravens football player Michael McCrary, and the New York State Teachers Retirement System.
Bozzuto operates the property on a 75-year ground lease issued by the University of Baltimore in 2005. Th e firm’s modern design fits the university’s tastes, with a metal-clad exterior and a glass bridge feature that illuminates at night.
The bridge, which overlooks the building’s green roof, forms a hallway on all four residential floors that residents can walk across. The structure fits well with Bozzuto’s vision for the interior, for which he didn’t want an apartment feel. “I wanted more of a boutique hotel inside,” he says.
The company developed an open-lobby floor plan, broken up by intimate seating clusters, that, indeed, give visitors a sense of being in a boutique hotel. The interiors include raw woods, chiseled stone, woven metals, bold colors, and local artwork.
Overall, the project follows a small-unit template with high-end features, including large-tile floors, iPod docks and speakers, and granite countertops.
More than 25 percent of the materials used to build The Fitzgerald were sourced within 500 miles of the site, and the project is the largest residential property in Baltimore city to receive LEED Silver certification. “We believe the project represents where apartment design is going,” Bozzuto says.