Topgolf Makes South Baltimore Location Official

| May 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

Today, Topgolf officially announced its new location along Warner St. and Stockholm St. in South Baltimore. The project is in partnership with Horseshoe Casino owners CBAC Gaming, which is comprised of Caesars, Rock Gaming, and Caves Valley Partners (CVP).

Topgolf will occupy Parking Lot J, which CBAC has the option with Baltimore City to purchase for redevelopment, and the current location of the City-owned Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. (BARCS) and The Office of Animal Control facility at 301 Stockholm St. The site is more than six acres and the Topgolf will be a 65,000 sq. ft. facility.

CBAC acquired the BARCS site through a Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) RFP, and is proposing to build BARCS a “top-of-the-line” new facility at 2490 Giles Rd. in Cherry Hill, a City-owned property that was approved by the Baltimore City Board of Estimates for the new home of BARCS.

CBAC now owns all but one property on Warner St. between Horseshoe and M&T Bank Stadium. The one building CBAC does not own is Public Storage at 1415 Russell St., which also faces Warner. It is planning a redevelopment of these properties in the area it is calling the Southern Gateway entertainment district.

Topgolf’s three-story building featuring a large sports bar and driving range bays will front Warner St. on Lot J. The 215-yard driving range will span eastward across the property through the current BARCS site. Kevin Charhon, director of real estate at Topgolf, said that the project is still in the design phase, but it does plan to incorporate the Middle Branch waterfront on the southern end of the property into the design.

Topgolf patrons will be able to park at the Horseshoe Casino garage.

Topgolf COO Craig Kessler said the facility will not only be a place to golf, but also that the sports bar will be one of the best places around to watch televised sports. Topgolf will also host live music and events for all ages. It will also have a “chef-driven menu and top-shelf drinks.”

Topgolf’s main attraction is its point-scoring golf games using microchipped balls that instantly score themselves, showing players the accuracy and distance of their shots on a TV screen in their hitting bay. Kessler said it has welcomed guests to play from ages one to 92, and welcomes players of all skill levels.

Kessler said it’s “a special day for Topgolf ” and noted that the company is excited for opening a downtown location alongside the Ravens and Horseshoe Casino. Most of Topgolf’s facilities are in more suburban settings.

Construction is expected to begin in 2019 and the venue is expected to open in 2020.

Topgolf will create 500 full- and part-time jobs. It expects about 450,000 visitors a year.

Topgolf operates 41 venues around the world, attracting 13 million visitors annually.

“Revitalizing neighborhoods and attracting investment to our City is among my highest priorities,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh in a press release. “Topgolf’s arrival in the market represents a major step toward fulfilling our vision of turning the Warner Street corridor into a dynamic entertainment district. Not only will Topgolf be a catalyst for adjacent renewal and development, but it will help fuel our city’s economy by adding hundreds of new jobs and offering a unique destination that will attract thousands more to downtown.”

“We are very excited to bring our entertainment experience to Baltimore and are focused on creating unforgettable fun for all of our guests,” said Topgolf Chief Development Officer Chris Callaway in a press release. “We’re looking forward to becoming an active community partner, in addition to a great place for people to get together.”

“Like the Mayor, our vision always has been to serve as a transformative agent to revitalize the Southern Gateway as a diversified entertainment district,” said Caesars Entertainment Regional President Erin Chamberlin, who is the general manager of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, in a press release. “Caesars is committed to investing millions of dollars to make this bold idea a reality. We welcome Topgolf as a unique community partner and proven entertainment concept. We believe the area is now poised to experience the level of development and expansion envisioned for the Southern Gateway.”

Ravens President Dick Cass was on hand and welcomed Topgolf to the neighborhood. He said the Ravens are incredibly excited about Topgolf, which will be less than a block from M&T Bank Stadium.

CBAC acquired 1400 Warner St., a 41,193 sq. ft. building on a 1.476 acre property last week. CBAC acquired the four-story, 91,744 sq. ft. building at 1300 Warner St. in Stadium Area in January for $4.8 million. The long-vacant building on 1.3 acres was built in 1920. It sits directly across Ostend St. from M&T Bank Stadium. CBAC also purchased the 31,377 sq. ft., 1.26 acre property at 1301 Warner St. in 2016 for $3,222,500.

Chamberlin told SouthBMore.com that CBAC will reveal a vision for Warner St. by the end of the summer. She said the goal is to drive visitors with attractions you can’t get elsewhere. She also said that Horseshoe is trying to bring a “Vegas-style” experience to Baltimore.

Stadium Area has become a hotbed for investment and redevelopment with its close proximity to Horseshoe Casino and the $275-million, mixed-use Stadium Square development by CVP. The Topgolf site is across the street from The Parker Building at 333 W. Ostend St. which is currently under construction for a conversion to 50,000 sq. ft. of offices. A block east at 175 W. Ostend St. will be the new 10,000 sq. ft. Checkerspot Brewing Company brewery and tap room. Adjacent to 1300 Warner St. is 1300 Russell St. which is the future home of Hammerjacks, a 48,000 sq. ft. music venue and club. Hammerjacks recently began construction.

Photos courtesy of Topgolf

Photos courtesy of SouthBMore.com

Lot J

BARCS

Properties under the control of CBAC. Additional investments in the area marked with text and logos. Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps (click to enlarge)

1400 Warner 

1300 Warner St. on the right and 1301 Warner St. on the left

About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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