Grain elevator reborn as high-end condos

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Silo Point makes a pretty big point.

Aside from being the only condominium development visible from virtually all of Baltimore, the renovation of an 84-year old grain elevator showcases the industrial structures while matching their height with new, glass-walled condos.

"When we first proposed converting this industrial building into condos, I heard a lot of, "You?re going to do what in a grain elevator?? " said developer Patrick Turner of Turner Development Group at a ceremony to install the last steel beam Thursday. "However, the condos, some wrapped on three sides in floor-to-ceiling glass, will have the "best views in Baltimore."

Though pricing on the flat, two-story and townhome-style condos won?t be announced until after the Super Bowl, Turner said the project cost $121 million and took four years to bring to fruition. It also includes townhomes already occupied on the east side of the elevator and two additional parcels yet to be developed.

Lead architect Christopher Pfaeffle of Parameter Inc. said the modern, glass-and-steel structures, were designed to contrast with the original poured concrete, but also to use similar elements.

The silos themselves "are a piece of an important compositional sculpture and make a very strong statement of what was here."

On the ground floors, the design preserves 26-foot ceilings supported by octagonal, poured-concrete pillars, he said. The 24-floor elevator structure ? once the tallest and fastest grain elevator in the world ? will be wrapped in glass and steel on the waterfront side, with a smaller, 10-floor building level with the silos to the south.

Mayor Sheila Dixon signed the last beam, along with about 200 guests, then praised the project?s potential for bringing more people to the city, as well as commercial space on the lower floors.

"This area of Locust Point, which is one of our jewels of the city, will now take off to another level," she said. "As the real estate market is cooling off across the country, we?re attracting people who see the energy and spirit of this great city."

Silo Point Fast Facts

Height: 24 floors, 290 feet

Offering: 228 condominium units,

commercial space, 19th-floor Sky Lounge

Location: 1700 Beason St., Baltimore, near Ft. McHenry

Timing: Prices will be announced after Super Bowl, units available May 2008

More information: silopoint.com

khille@baltimoreexaminer.com

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Author:

Karl B. Hille

Web producer
The Washington Examiner