Located at 211 West Mulberry Street, Mulberry at Park is a new seven-story metal stud and Hambro building with 68 units of affordable apartments. The exterior skin is comprised of brick, metal panel and Hardie siding. The structure includes a one-story structural concrete garage below grade offering 18 parking spaces. The 68 units include 34 one-bedrooms, 27 two-bedrooms, and seven three-bedrooms.
Building amenities include a fitness room, café, youth study room, and a green roof family activity area located on the 2nd floor with chairs, greenery, and open space. The green roof is made up of roof trays on top of a TPO thermoplastic membrane, and this system will help lower the heat index, is environmentally friendly, and is self-sustaining. The main roof is also TPO with green roof trays and a decorative cornice. Site work includes pavers in front of the building along West Mulberry Street and new sidewalks at Tyson Street.
Harkins received a Notice to Proceed on May 15, 2015, and was ready with plans to deal with the many site challenges the project was expected to encounter.
The project’s proximity to a major commuter road and adjacent properties meant very limited access and no staging areas. The building encompasses 100% of the site and is surrounded by Mulberry Street to the north, Tyson Street to the west, Pleasant Street to the south, and an existing structure to the east that was only nine inches away. The site team negotiated with owners of adjacent properties to rent parking spaces for staging materials and unloading deliveries. We were able to rent a parking lot from Pleasant Street for deliveries and to house the jobsite trailer. The site team also successfully negotiated a lane closure of busy Mulberry from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow the façade work to safely proceed. All incoming traffic and deliveries had to be carefully coordinated.
Another effect from the tight site was how materials were delivered into the building. We had limited options and could not have a crane, hoist, and manlifts all on the job at one time. It was decided the concrete subcontractor, Chevy Chase, would provide a crane to construct the Hambro and concrete structure, and Harkins would coordinate with Chevy Chase to utilize the crane’s downtime to get other critical materials into the building. The use of the crane saved time and cost and allowed the masonry, steel stud, and structural steel trades to accelerate their operations. In addition, since we were building right up against the contiguous properties, we had to underpin footings and protect the surrounding structures from damage during construction. The adjacent buildings were carefully photographed and monitored for movement during construction.
Unforeseen conditions related to the installation of water and power also created significant challenges, but the owner, architect, and Harkins worked closely to coordinate with BGE and Baltimore City Water to find solutions. For the power issue, we were able to find an abandoned manhole off of Tyson Street. Through the installation of a duct bank, BGE was able to run power from Saratoga Street down through the manhole on Tyson.
As for the water, we had to work with the Department of Public Works to find the water main for the building to tap into. Once we did locate the main, it was found to be a two-inch pipe that was unable to support the building’s domestic and fire suppression systems. When we started to dig the water vault, we came across additional water and sanitary lines that were in the way. As a result, we had to get approval to build a water meter room in the garage to house the water meter. Enterprise Homes was instrumental in working with the Deputy Mayor to help get the BGE and Baltimore City Water issues resolved.
Mulberry at Park is a prime example of the construction that is going on in downtown Baltimore to revitalize the Westside, and Harkins is proud to be part of it. At the groundbreaking ceremony last July, CEO of Enterprise Homes Chickie Grayson said, “We’re committed to building affordable homes for families, for people who work and struggle to afford a place to call home. This new community brings us closer to our goal of ending housing insecurity within a generation.”
Harkins worked closely with the owner in preconstruction to manage the various minority goals for the project, which included both Baltimore City and State of Maryland requirements. The project exceeded both.