WASHINGTON, DC-Jefferson Apartment Group, with investment partner USAA, will break ground on an apartment building in Baltimore next week having secured a construction loan from Wells Fargo for $44 million. The residential and retail development, Jefferson Square at Washington Hill, will be located one block from the new main entrance of Johns Hopkins Medical and Research Campus. The five-story building will consist of 304 residential units and 21,000 square feet of retail.

Jefferson Square at Washington Hill, however, is just one initiative that this local company has underway. Since its launch three years ago, JAG has worked to build up a diversified portfolio of properties in major east coast markets. Building a footprint outside of DC was, in fact, one of its initial goals. “Their mission was to be diversified in different markets on the East Coast,” a JAG spokeswomen tells GlobeSt.com, pointing to the company’s activities in Florida as well.

JAG is about to begin construction on the Jefferson at Monterra near Ft. Lauderdale. It is the second of five major Jefferson Apartment Group developments to begin construction in South Florida this year. Other projects will launch in Baldwin Park, Pompano Beach and Palm Beach Lakes.

Leasing is going well at The Asher in Alexandria, VA, the spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com. The 204-unit apartment building in the Braddock Rd submarket is 40% leased. The Asher delivered in September 2012.