Caves Valley Partners Plans $250 Million Sharp-Leadenhall Development

| June 10, 2014 | 7 Comments
Screenshot of the area from Google Maps

Screenshot of the area from Google Maps

Caves Valley Partners (CVP), the development team behind 1111 Light Street and Riverside Wharf, is planning a $250 million mixed-use development on three city blocks in the Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood of South Baltimore to be named Stadium Square. CVP has acquired properties in the three-block stretch with the boundaries of Race St. to the east, Leadenhall St. to the west, the train tracks to the south, and Cross St. to the north.

The properties include the home of ABC Box Company, which will be relocating to Camden-Carroll; Vac Pac; and the Post Office, as well as vacant land and warehouses. CVP has been working on acquiring the properties for almost two years.

The plan calls for several hundred residential units, 300,000-square feet of office space, 60,000- to 70,000-square feet of retail, and close to 2,000 parking spaces. Preliminary economic projections anticipate between 800 and 1,000 jobs during construction and approximately 1,200 full-time jobs when the project is complete and fully leased. 

“We see an opportunity to work with the City and the local community to take three under-utilized blocks between Cross Street Market and the sports stadiums and make a significant economic investment that will create nearly a thousand construction jobs, over a thousand permanent jobs, housing for several hundred people seeking to live in an urban walkable environment, neighborhood-oriented retail, and much needed parking,” said Arsh Mirmiran, a partner at CVP and who is leading the development team. “The unique location of this project, so close to MARC, Light Rail, the Charm City Circulator, and both 295 and 395, creates the elements that Baltimore needs if we are going to achieve the Mayor’s ambitious goal of adding 10,000 new families in 10 years.”

Mirmiran met with neighborhood representatives from the surrounding communities of Sharp-Leadenhall, South Baltimore, Federal Hill, Federal Hill South, Federal Hill Main Street, Riverside, and the Sharp-Leadenhall Baptist Church on Monday night. Mirmiran described the meeting as very positive. With parking as a major concern for South Baltimore developments, Mirmiran told that they are providing more than enough for this project.

CVP has also committed to building a new community center on the property of the nearly 150-year-old Leadenhall Baptist Church. They will seek to overhaul local infrastructure to enhance the aesthetics and provide state-of-the art broadband services to support the projected business growth.

“This project recognizes the value of our community and the history of our neighborhood,” said the Reverend Doctor Alvin Gwynn Jr., pastor of Leadenhall Baptist. “It creates opportunities for employment and a good living for our residents. It also represents an investment in, and for, the people who live within our neighborhood, removed from the shores of the Inner Harbor, as well as new residents and employees who will help us undergo a well-deserved renaissance.”

“This is the type of smart growth, transit-oriented project that can significantly enhance the quality of life of our surrounding communities – creating jobs, quality housing, and new retail amenities, as well as much needed daytime and evening customers for existing shops and restaurants,” said City Councilman William Cole, who represents the area. “I think that the plan to use existing transportation hubs like the Light Rail and MARC transit stations, as well as the easy highway access to the west, will minimize traffic through existing residential neighborhoods. And providing a significant boost to parking – a complaint of virtually everyone in the area – further illustrates that this is a well-conceived plan by a development team with a proven record of understanding and delivering on its commitments to our community.”

The property also falls within an area designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). Businesses located in such geographic areas gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities, which CVP is hoping will make the proposed office space a particularly attractive location for companies looking at federal contracting in fields like technology and cyber-security.

“Within my district, we have seen remarkable growth of small technology start-up firms – creating jobs and innovation and helping to attract new residents to our City,” said State Sen. Bill Ferguson, who represents District 46. “When you combine the HUBZone with both the transit and walkability options, I can envision this project leveraging existing assets and providing a needed boost to our collective efforts to keep developing this important segment of our work force. Most importantly, this project will further our objectives to grow Baltimore and ensure that families can thrive our City’s downtown neighborhoods.”

“I am excited about the potential opportunities the Stadium Square project can bring to Baltimore City,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.  “We look forward to working with Caves Valley Partners as they further develop the project in coordination with the City and community. This project will help reach my goal of attracting 10,000 families to the City, not only by providing places for people to live, but also by providing office space for new and expanding businesses to sustain Baltimore’s job growth in the years ahead.”

CVP plans to work closely with the surrounding communities as well as with city zoning officials throughout the process. Acquisition of the properties will be completed over the next few months and plans will likely be more defined and presented to the community groups in late fall. They are hoping to begin construction in 2015.  

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