Ravens’ Tackle Eugene Monroe Announced as Partner in Stadium Square Development

| November 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Yesterday, Caves Valley Partners (CVP) announced a new development partner for Stadium Square, the approximately $250 million mixed-use project, which will cover three consecutive blocks of South Baltimore in Sharp-Leadenhall and the South Baltimore Neighborhood. That new partner is 4th Down Partners – a company comprised of Keith Payne Jr., a Northern Virginia native and a former New York Giants and University of Virginia (UVA) running back, and Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Eugene Monroe, who played with Payne in Charlottesville. They have joined the project team and will participate in all facets of the development process from planning through construction.

photo“When we met with the Caves Valley Partners team and talked about this project, it seemed like a great fit for us to join,” Monroe said in a KO Public Affairs’ press release. “To have an opportunity to work with and learn from a team with this much experience, and play a role in the decisions as they get made, it’s the right way for us to grow.”

“We are ready to be involved at all levels of this project with a team that has had so many successful experiences in Baltimore,” said Payne. “A few years down the road, we can’t wait to see what a difference a project like this can make for the community.”

“We think that working in a neighborhood like Sharp-Leadenhall, which has been overlooked by so many people and developers, shows what we hope to accomplish in development,” Payne continued. “To bring opportunities and amenities to this neighborhood and make a real connection between Federal Hill and the stadiums – it’s a vision we want to help deliver.”

In addition to the Stadium Square project, 4th Down Partners is in the early stages of a redevelopment project on Georgia Ave. in Washington, D.C.

Arsh Mirmiran, a partner with CVP and a lead on the project, is also a a UVA grad. When asked if that played a role in decision to get involved, Monroe and Payne joked that UVA had a really strong code of conduct, but they first became interested in the project after hearing about it on the news.

“Keith and Eugene share our vision for what this area can become and they are bringing fresh perspectives and ideas to the project, making them a great complement to our existing team and skills,” said  Mirmiran. “CVP looks forward to watching 4th Down Partners grow and prosper as a young company and we have already been impressed by their talents as we’ve worked with them on various aspects of the project. More than anything, we hope this is the start of a long-term relationship with them as they grow their company and we are already looking at other opportunities with them in the region.”

Stadium Square pieces together a majority of the properties located between Cross St. on the north, Race St. on the east, Leadenhall St. on the west, and both sides of Ostend St.to the south. The parcels are controlled by the CVP team, which has been working on the property assemblage for almost two years.

CVP has laid out a vision for adding several hundred apartments, up to 300,000 sq. ft. of office space, 60,000-70,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail, and close to 2,000 parking spaces. They are touting Stadium Square as a transit oriented development due to its close proximity to Hamburg Street Light Rail stop and the MARC Train stop at Camden Station, as well as to the Charm City Circulator.

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.

The first phase of the project will be on the northern most block of the development with Cross St. to the north and W. West St. to the south. Mirmiran told reporters that the block would feature a large apartment building with a little bit of retail. Multiple phases could be under construction at once and CVP is eyeing a mix of retail (possibly a grocer), offices and potentially apartments for the next block moving south between W. West St. and Ostend St., and likely a focus on office space south of Ostend St.

Mirmiran said it has not been decided which block would be phase two and that they are close to hiring a office leasing company to determine need for office space in the area to guide the later phases of the project.

They are hoping to begin construction on the first phase in the fall of 2015 after going through the application process earlier in the year. First deliveries on Stadium Square are expected in 2017.

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

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

Monroe sees 4th Down Partners as his post-football retirement occupation and is eager to get started while he still plays for the Ravens. Monroe’s wife grew up in Columbia and they live in the Baltimore area year-round.

“I’ve been around the league long enough to see players get to retirement and have no idea what they want to do, or think they have a plan but don’t prepare for it while they’re playing,” Monroe said. “I am eager to get started now, within the time I have as a player.”

Several businesses will be voluntarily relocating to make way for Stadium Square. ABC Box Company will be relocating to Carroll-Camden Industrial Area, Furst Bros. will be relocating to Marmenco Court off Patapsco Ave. in South Baltimore, and Mirmiran told SouthBMore.com that VacPac is nearing a deal for a new home. A new home has not yet been found for the USPS Post Office, but Mirmiran noted that they currently have a lot more space than they need since their property is a former distribution facility as well and that CVP would help that out as much as possible with that process.

The 1200 block of Race St. adjacent to the post office has been closed off as a through street to the public for many years. Mirmiran told SouthBMore.com that reopening that street would be a priority of the development.

CVP has also developed 1111 Light Street and Riverside Wharf in South Baltimore, as well as several large projects in Towson.

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.