Part of working to create more and better housing for people is identifying gaps in the housing market. Government subsidies help incentivize the creation of affordable housing, and there is a seemingly-endless catalog of luxury housing. But this dichotomy often leaves a gap that makes finding appropriately-priced housing for middle class families and individuals a challenge. In simpler terms, there’s a growing workforce and a scarcity of housing.
Architects and private developers have an opportunity to design and build the “missing middle” housing stock—unsubsidized, market-rate housing with efficient plans and economical materials that come in at a lower price point. Or as we like to call it “affordable by design.”
A2, a five-story, 52-unit apartment building, capitalizes on efficiency and creative materials, as well as shared amenities, to fill in some “missing middle” housing in Baltimore’s Fort Point neighborhood. Completed in 2018 with Washington, D.C.-based firm Maurice Walters Architect, A2 is the little sister of Anthem House, a nine-story luxury building across the street, designed by KTGY Architects.
Both Anthem House and A2 were built by local developers War Horse Cities, Bozzuto, and Solstice Partners and work together to fill multiple housing needs. The 292-unit Anthem House caters to a higher price point and features ground-floor retail space, a fitness center, collaborative spaces, an Infinity pool, a dog run, and a large entertainment room. A2 has smaller units, with 36 490-square-foot studios and 15 835-square-foot two-bedroom units at the corners. Residents of A2 have access to all of the amenities in Anthem House, allowing the project to save money by not devoting space to its own amenities.