COMMUNITY IMPACT

Weller Development Company and the Port Covington Development Team are committed to the communities in which it works. Port Covington is one of the largest urban revitalization efforts underway in the United States. It is a long-term effort that will have a fundamental and far-reaching impact on Baltimore’s future, and the Development Team is eager to bring additional economic benefits, investment and jobs to neighbors in South Baltimore, and Baltimore City as a whole. We are delivering on a vision for Port Covington as a hub of opportunity, growth and inclusivity.

Click here to learn more about the Port Covington Development Team’s progress to date.
Community Impact Infographic
Community Benefits Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding

In July of 2016, the Port Covington Development Team entered into a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with the South Baltimore Six (SB6) Coalition, an organization that represents the South Baltimore communities of Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Curtis Bay, Lakeland, Mt. Winans and Westport. The CBA outlines ways in which the SB6 communities may benefit from the successful redevelopment of Port Covington.

In September of 2016, the Port Covington Development Team entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Baltimore (the City MOU), which included commitments to provide more than $100 million in benefits to the citizens of Baltimore. It is the largest city-wide benefits package negotiated in Baltimore’s history.

The CBA and the City MOU include the following areas of impact:

  • SB6 Local Community Benefits
  • Workforce Development
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Dedication of Public Land
  • Incremental Costs of Prevailing Wages (Minimum Wage Structure)
  • Transparency and Accountability through a City Auditor
Workforce Development

A central goal of the development of Port Covington is to help transform the lives of Baltimoreans through career and skills training. To do this, the Port Covington Community Impact Team partners with workforce training organizations and institutions to teach marketable skills across many industries, preparing Baltimore’s workforce for the jobs that will result from the development of Port Covington – or any of the growing industries in our City.

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding between the developer and the City, Port Covington’s workforce development programming will work to ensure that for all TIF-funded infrastructure:

  • 51% of all new hires are Baltimore City residents
  • 12% of all work is allocated to apprenticeships
  • 25% of apprenticeship work is performed by workers with barriers to entry

Additionally, for the entire development, Port Covington’s workforce programming will work to ensure that 30% of all on-site workers reside in Baltimore City. Port Covington ensures employees receive a minimum wage of $17.48 per hour, plus $5.93 per hour for health benefits. This local hiring commitment is expected of all general contractors, with these mandates attached to each contract for horizontal infrastructure and vertical improvements.

Supplier Diversity

The Port Covington Development Team believes that the meaningful involvement of diverse suppliers— large or small businesses in construction or professional services—in all aspects of the Port Covington redevelopment is integral to its success. Diversity efforts are focused on small, women- and minority-owned businesses. These minority businesses form the backbone of Baltimore’s economy. They are crucial to economic growth and have the potential to put money back into communities, create jobs and diversify goods and services.

The Port Covington Development Team is using diligent efforts for its commitment to achieving overall contracting at the goals set by the City of Baltimore of 27% minority-owned businesses (MBE) and 10% women-owned businesses (WBE) on the TIF infrastructure.

South Baltimore 7 (SB7) Coalition

The South Baltimore 7 (SB7) Coalition is a nonprofit organization which is a partnership between six community organizations in South Baltimore and the Port Covington Development Team. Together, the SB7 Coalition is working to strengthen South Baltimore communities around Port Covington by strategically tackling shared challenges. The SB7 Coalition includes:

  1. Concerned Citizens for a Better Brooklyn
  2. Cherry Hill Community Coalition
  3. Community of Curtis Bay Association
  4. Lakeland Community Association Partnership
  5. Mt. Winans Community Association
  6. Westport Neighborhood Association
  7. Port Covington

With the Community Benefits Agreement in place, the SB7 Coalition launched a strategic planning process for their neighborhoods. This process examined both neighborhood plans and a regional strategy, uplifting priority projects to spur investments in the six neighborhoods. With community and partner buy-in, six resident-led committees were launched to carry out the work of implementing the regional priorities focused on:

  1. Community Development
  2. Economic Development
  3. Education
  4. Public Safety
  5. Quality of Life
  6. Transportation

Read more at www.sb7coalition.org.

Impact Highlights

The Port Covington Development Team is delivering on our commitments around local hiring, supplier diversity, accessible design, workforce development, and community investments. Here are some of the highlights:

PORT COVINGTON STATS TO DATE

  • 232 RFQs/RFPs have been posted for contracting opportunities
  • More than $47M of work has been awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses (MBE/WBE) to date

PORT COVINGTON DEVELOPMENT TEAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • 20% of the residential units in Chapter 1B of Port Covington are planned to be affordable dwelling units.
  • To date, more than $19 million has been funded toward our commitments under the MOU and CBA.
  • The Development Team opened the UA House at Fayette operated by Living Classrooms in 2016, which is a 30,000SF enrichment and recreation center in East Baltimore with a 10,000 SF indoor turf field, state-of-the-art STEM classroom, workforce development and entrepreneurship center, dance and yoga studios, recording studios, a neighborhood teaching kitchen, and daily programming around the year.
  • The Development Team helped to facilitate JP Morgan Chase opening the first ever bank branch in Cherry Hill.
  • Port Covington received the 2018 Sally Michel award from the Parks and People Foundation. Development Team members continue to sit on the working group of the Middle Branch Waterfront initiative with members of the Mayor’s office and the Director of Planning in furtherance of our dedication of public space.
  • The Development Team contributed to the Gwynns Falls Trash Wheel, which will help reduce trash and debris in the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.
  • The Development Team contributed to Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake to rehabilitate three homes in Mt. Winans.
  • Since 2017, the Port Covington Development Team has funded 100 YouthWorks positions each year for Baltimore City youth ages 14-21.

SB7 Coalition | Port Covington Development Highlights
The SB7 Coalition and the Port Covington Development Team have been focused on fostering ongoing collaboration, community planning, and strategic partnerships. In the last four years, The Port Covington Development Team and the SB7 Coalition have hosted dozens of community events, serving thousands of Baltimore City residents.  These events include:

  • Workforce Development Convenings
  • Thankful Thursday
  • Success Fest
  • Target 180 Attendance Campaign
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Trunk or Treat
  • Flags Up Raceway
  • Deep Dive Issue-based Series
  • Manufacturing Bootcamp
  • Meet the Makers

In addition to the above, the SB7 Coalition and the Port Covington Development Team have also partnered on the following:

  • Port Covington Vendor Open Houses have brought together more than 450 business leaders and over 300 minority- and women-owned businesses to learn about upcoming contracting opportunities in the Port Covington development.
  • The Port Covington Development Team has provided Technical Assistance to the SB7 Coalition to help the organization obtain 501c(3) status, create an Appropriation and Grants Committee to strategize the allocation of funding, and acquire and renovate its headquarters, amongst other things.
  • The Port Covington Development Team has hosted workforce convenings with hundreds of partners and providers to prepare City residents for future employment opportunities in Port Covington.
  • The Port Covington Development Team has sponsored the TARGET 180 Attendance Campaign to boost student attendance in Baltimore City schools. At Bay-Brook Elementary Middle School, attendance rates increased an average of 6% from pre-K through eighth grade.  More than 4,000 students participated.

Click here to read the two-year Port Covington Impact Report, which was published in 2019.

Events

Public events are a regular part of the work of the Port Covington Development Team to meet and exceed our obligations. These include vendor open houses, legal counsel, student events, volunteer opportunities, holiday gatherings, and more. Check here regularly for information about upcoming events.