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Port Covington Project Underway in Baltimore

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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The first phase of Port Covington’s riverfront mixed-use development project in South Baltimore is reported to be in full swing, three years after city officials approved public financing.

The $500 million first phase involves the construction of five buildings—which will make up about 1.1 million square feet of offices, apartments, shops and parks—and plans to be completed by 2021.

About the Project

In July 2016, the South Baltimore Six (SB6) Coalition—an organization that represents South Baltimore communities of Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Curtis Bay, Lakeland, Mt. Winans and Westport—announced a long-term investment partnership and community benefits agreement with project owner Sagamore Development and its affiliates.

The agreement outlined how SB6 communities would share benefits associated with the redevelopment of Port Covington.

“Our focus in Port Covington and in all of our other businesses and philanthropic initiatives has been investing in a brighter future for Baltimore,” said Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries. 

“We are committed to making investments that will truly make a difference. Working closely as partners with our neighboring communities, through months of productive discussions and dialogue, we have created a long-term community benefits agreement that will endure for decades. This will ensure that residents in the SB6 neighborhoods will share in the success of Port Covington for years to come.”

In total, the redevelopment is backed by $5.5 billion in investments, which includes $4.4 billion in private investments and will take up 177 acres of waterfront space. The project has also obtained a $660 million tax increment deal, allowing issued municipal bonds for infrastructure work to be repaid with the project’s property taxes deferred from city coffers.

By May of this year, Port Covington broke ground, where project developers, along with city and state leaders shoveled ceremonial dirt onto the future home of the mixed-use development.

Marc Weller of Weller Development—which is overseeing the project for Sagamore Development and New York investment bank Goldman Sachs—reported at the time that the project would begin with land grading and that roadwork would follow in the fall season.

Until the first set of bonds are sold for the project (roughly by 2020), Weller also reported that developers would be footing the initial bill. However, The Baltimore Sun reports that several businesses were already committed to leasing close to half the space available in just the first two office buildings.

The cybersecurity-focused companies include DataTribe, AllegisCyber and Evergreen Advisors. The existing property is also home to Under Armour—where founder and CEO, Kevin Plank, started accumulating Port Covington properties roughly five years ago and who founded Sagamore Development with Weller—Sagamore Spirit distillery and Rye Street Market—a four-building development complete with restaurants, shops, food hall, rooftop space and an open-air market.

Once completed, the fully developed waterfront space will encompass 14.1 million square feet, have three direct access points to and from Interstate 95 and will include 40 acres of parks and dedicated green space.

The full project is expected to take 25 years to complete.

What’s Happening Now

In beginning work on the first phase of the Port Covington development, Weller reports that the first five structures will include:

  • A 185,000-square-foot residential building with shops and a garage;
  • A 206,000-square-foot office building with retail;
  • A 123,000-square-foot apartment building and hotel with retail;
  • An additional 270,000-square-foot apartment building with shops;
  • A 200,000-square-foot office building and 72,000-square-foot market with rooftop event space and patio; and
  • A marina and 10 acres of parks and piers.

The buildings slated for January construction are designed to feature many windows, brick facades and will rise roughly seven stories. This chapter of buildings are expected to be delivered by the fall 2021.

In the meantime, no further announcements have been made as to who will lease the commercial spaces. Bonds for the project’s infrastructure are also unsold but city councilmen anticipate the first sale to take place in February 2020.

“There are definitely challenges, but none of that is anything new,” said City Councilman Eric Costello. “This is a 25-year project. To achieve the full master plan it will take time and patience and diligence, but they’re on the right track.”


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commercial Buildings; Commercial Construction; Commercial contractors; Construction; Contractors; Hotels; NA; North America; Office Buildings; Ongoing projects; Parking Garages; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Residential; Residential Construction

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