On March 24, Port Covington officially celebrated the Chapter 1B vertical construction with a groundbreaking ceremony, with more than 1.1 million square feet of new development now underway.
Marking a significant milestone for one of the largest urban revitalization efforts in the United States, Port Covington officially launched vertical construction this week with a groundbreaking event for its next development phase, called Chapter 1B, on the 235-acre site. The live event, both virtual and in-person for a small group, featured public officials who have been closely involved in the project in a variety of capacities, as well executives from the Port Covington Development Team, which consists of lead investors from Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, Sagamore Ventures, and lead developer Weller Development Company.
This phase for Port Covington includes more than 1.1 million square feet of development with 440,000 SF office; 586,000 SF residential with 367 residential dwelling units, 89 affordable dwelling units and 81 extended stay units; 116,000 SF retail; 1,000+ parking spaces; and 10 acres of parks and public space.
With construction equipment and cranes as a backdrop, groundbreaking attendees and viewers heard from a variety of public local, state and federal officials, including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Senator Ben Cardin, and Baltimore City Councilmember Eric Costello, who each expressed their commitment to Port Covington and the long-term benefits that the project will bring for the city and the region. Representing the lead investors in the project, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group’s Margaret Anadu and Sagamore Ventures CEO Kevin Plank detailed the development team’s commitment to create a vibrant community in South Baltimore that will generate opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for the city of Baltimore and its workforce. Community leaders were also represented, including SB7 Coalition Chairman Mike Middleton, who expressed his enthusiasm which a dream that has been years in the making is now another step closer to reality. Weller Development Company CFO/COO Mike Gaffney highlighted the tireless work by the development team, and our appreciation of the partnership with public officials and community leaders.
A redeveloped Port Covington will have fundamental and far-reaching positive impact on the Baltimore metropolitan area and will pave the way for an influx of economic benefits, investment, and jobs. Port Covington will result in tens of thousands of new jobs, fresh opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship, new ways to reach the waterfront, and much more for Baltimore City and the State of Maryland. Many businesses, nonprofit organizations and destinations are already located in Port Covington including Sagamore Spirit Distillery, Rye Street Tavern, Nick’s Fish House, Under Armour, City Garage, The Baltimore Sun, two marinas, Swann Park, West Covington Park, and Impact Village, which provides complimentary office space to startups and nonprofits whose work positively impacts the community.
In 2016, the Port Covington Development Team signed a Community Benefits Agreement with the South Baltimore 6 (SB6) Coalition, a nonprofit organization that represents the surrounding South Baltimore communities of Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Curtis Bay, Lakeland, Mt. Winans and Westport, to outline how these communities will benefit from the Port Covington urban revitalization. The Port Covington Development Team simultaneously entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Baltimore that includes more than $100 million in commitments to fund priorities such as workforce development, education, economic development, SB6 local community benefits, affordable housing, and more.
The Port Covington Development Team has funded more than $19 million toward its MOU and CBA commitments to date, including more than $9 million of baseline funding that was deployed to SB7 upon the closing of the financing.