The Port Covington Development Team, along with the Mayor of Baltimore Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Boyd Rutherford, and several local leaders, hosted a ceremonial ground-breaking event today to mark the beginning of construction on the next phase of one of the largest urban renewal efforts in America.

Port Covington is a 235-acre redevelopment project located on Baltimore City’s prime waterfront. Chapter 1 of the project will be developed over several years, with the first new buildings set to be delivered in Fall 2021. At full build-out, Chapter 1 is planned to include approximately 1.38 million square feet of office, 337,450 square feet of retail, 976,667 square feet of residential, and 285,000 square feet of hotel space.

“The Port Covington of today is a completely different place than what it was just a few short years ago, and we are just getting started,” said Marc Weller, Founding Partner of Weller Development Company and lead developer of Port Covington. “The progress to date couldn’t have happened without the tremendous support and dedication from our elected officials and their staffs, community leaders, our South Baltimore neighbors, our investment partners and the entire development team. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and I couldn’t be more thankful to all those running with us and cheering us on.”

The redevelopment of Port Covington will have a fundamental and far-reaching positive impact on the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. A redeveloped Port Covington will mean thousands of new jobs, fresh opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship, new ways to reach the waterfront, and more for Baltimore City and the State of Maryland. Chapter 1 of Port Covington already includes the award-winning Sagamore Spirit Distillery, Rye Street Tavern, City Garage and Nick’s Fish House. At completion, the entire project will include: up to 18 million square feet of new, mixed-use development; 2.5 miles of restored waterfront; and 40 acres of parks and green space.

“On behalf of Baltimore City, I would like to congratulate the entire Port Covington team on their hard work to date and tremendous progress thus far,” said Mayor of Baltimore Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “Today’s groundbreaking is about more than just this one development or one community. It is symbolic of what’s in store for Baltimore’s economic future: more momentum, more jobs, more opportunity for our residents and our local workforce.”

The Port Covington Development Team includes lead developer Weller Development Company, joint owners Plank Industries, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, along with general contractor Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., engineer of record STV Inc., world-class architects and designers, locally owned construction and development businesses, and Minority Business Enterprises and Women Business Enterprises, all working together as the development continues to grow and progress. Earlier this year, the Port Covington Development Team announced it selected JLL to spearhead the leasing of office space in the next phase of Chapter 1. We expect that many partners, vendors, contractors and operators will be added through the 25+ years of the project.

Adjacent to I-95, the East Coast’s most traveled highway, Port Covington provides convenient and efficient commuting and travel times for the area’s workforce, residents, tourists and other visitors. Port Covington will be an engine for economic growth, with vibrant retail and entertainment options, iconic office buildings, hotels, residential, and waterfront parks.

“As lieutenant governor, and as a Marylander, it is truly wonderful to see how the Port Covington development has grown and progressed over time,” said Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. “As a public/private partnership, this community serves as an excellent example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors work together.”

“I am excited to celebrate the official first step in the realization of a longstanding dream for Baltimore,” Congressman Elijah Cummings said. “Port Covington can help us change the future of our beloved City and create opportunities that will positively impact generations yet unborn.”

Leveraging the core strengths of Maryland, Port Covington will feature several key ecosystems focused on Technology, Life Sciences and Education. One of the first of Port Covington’s ecosystems, focused on Cybersecurity, will be anchored by an array of companies in the field, including DataTribe, Allegis Cyber, and Evergreen Advisors, that have committed to relocating and/or expanding to Rye Street Market. Rye Street Market will be the first of property to be constructed as part of Chapter 1.

“Port Covington is exactly the type of smart, thoughtful redevelopment we need to put South Baltimore back on the map,” Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said. “This project will add thousands of new jobs, create park land and open space where an environmental wasteland once stood, and provide affordable housing for more families. And it’s going to create a domino-effect of economic wins for the entire city and region.”

“Today’s kickoff of Port Covington Chapter 1b is an exciting opportunity as we continue to see progress on the second largest urban development project in the nation,” said Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello. “As we continue to build Baltimore City’s newest neighborhood, we will build more economic opportunity for residents of our entire City.”

Set to deliver in Fall 2021, Rye Street Market will feature four buildings totaling 275,000 square feet, including a vibrant market, restaurants, shops and shared amenities. In addition to 185,000 square feet of office space, Rye Street Market is also planned to include a 13,000-square-foot open-air market and food hall inspired by Baltimore’s rich heritage of neighborhood markets, 50,000 square feet of pedestrian-oriented retail, a 12,000 square footstate-of-the-art meeting facility, and a magnificent 15,000 square foot rooftop event space overlooking the water.

Shortly thereafter, the Port Covington Development Team plans to deliver nearly 1 million square feet of additional development by early 2022. A 300,000-square-foot office building with 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail is expected to be delivered by early 2022, along with three residential properties that will include more than 500 apartments, including extended stay, market rate, and affordable housing units, and approximately 55,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

“The South Baltimore 7 (“SB7”) Coalition has had the opportunity to work as a partner and trusted advisor to the Port Covington team since the beginning. As chairman of SB7, I take pride in knowing that Port Covington will deliver on its promises, as they have already done time and time again, to the surrounding area and its residents. This ceremonial groundbreaking marks the start of a new chapter that I’m excited to see come to fruition. We will all continue working together to deliver a Port Covington community that is inclusive, prosperous, and impactful for local residents, local business and our local workforce,” said Michael Middleton, Cherry Hill resident and Chairman of the South Baltimore 7 (“SB7”) Coalition. The SB7 Coalition is an organization that represents the South Baltimore communities of Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Curtis Bay, Lakeland, Mt. Winans, Westport and Port Covington.

“With each milestone, Port Covington further solidifies itself as a model for large scale community development and proof of what happens when leaders from local neighborhoods, the public sector, and businesses all work together towards a common goal,” said Margaret Anadu,Managing Director and Head of Urban Investment Group, Goldman Sachs.“We continue to be proud partners in this transformative project and optimistic investors in the future of Baltimore.”

Additional office, retail, hospitality and residential spaces are currently in the planning stages for Chapter 1 and will be driven by tenant and market demand.

Future phases of Port Covington are slated to include more than 10 million additional square feet of office, residential, retail and hotel development with little restriction to build more, offering robust expansion and relocation opportunities.

“Transformation begins with a grand vision and leads to lifelong opportunities,” said Terrell Williams, BUILD organizer and Turnaround Tuesday Co-Director.“We are proud to be a partner in turning the vision we all share for the Port Covington development into those lifelong opportunities.”