Three Big Things to Expect in South Baltimore in 2015

| January 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

The investment in South Baltimore seems to increase exponentially and that trend seems likely to continue in 2015. Here’s a look at some of the big things likely to happen this year.

Plans for Port Covington

port covingtonPort Covington has always been a lightning rod topic for SouthBMore.com traffic and 2015 is setting up as the year that locals will finally have more answers about what the future holds for the southern section of the South Baltimore Peninsula that includes a never completed shopping center, industrial properties, and acres of undeveloped land. More than $90 million in real estate transactions involving more than 128 acres occurred in 2014.

Though the buyer of the Baltimore Sun property has not yet been revealed, all previous transactions have been linked to Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s real estate company, Sagamore Development. Many of the properties have already entered into the Maryland Voluntary Cleanup Program, the first step in the redevelopment process. Talk has also swirled about additional Port Covington properties being sought and purchased, but nothing has been confirmed. With land transactions that could total up to 200 acres, plans for Port Covington have the potential to be one of the biggest Baltimore developments in modern history.

Little is known about the future of Port Covington other than that plans have been heard for a rye whiskey distillery for Sagamore Spirit, which would take up a very small percentage of the acquired land.

Will it become a massive new campus for Under Armour? Will it be a large new mixed-use development? Will it become South Baltimore’s answer to The Shops at Canton Crossing? Will it become a new sports facility? Or, will it become a combination of all of these things? We do not know the answer at this point, but a lot more should be revealed in 2015.

Continuation of the Apartment Boom

photoIf you wanted to live in South Baltimore ten years ago, your options were pretty much limited to rowhouse living or some condominium options. Since then luxury apartments have been built at a brisk pace and units are now available at 101 Wells, McHenry Row (250 units), 1111 Light Street (93 units), 1901 South Charles (197 units) and soon-to-open 2 East Wells (153 units). Construction is also already underway at Heath Street Lofts (59 units) and 1201 South Charles (16 units).

Construction is expected to start soon at the 275-unit building at 900 E. Fort Ave. and 2015 groundbreakings are expected for Banner Hill, a 351-unit apartment complex in Otterbein, as well as a 392-unit building at 414 Light St. adjacent to Otterbein and a ‘more than 300 unit’ apartment building at Stadium Square. Plans were also seen in 2014 for a 305-unit building at 1100 Key Hwy., but little has been heard since it was first introduced in March.

With 228 apartment units currently under construction in South Baltimore and with 1318-1623 units that could also begin construction in 2015, there is no doubt the apartment boom will continue.

A Change of Direction at the Cross Street Market

photoMany have clamored for years for upgrades to the Cross Street Market and they could soon get their wish as in late 2014 the Baltimore Public Markets Corporation (BPMC) voted to put the Cross Street Market out for private bid in 2015. The Baltimore Business Journal revealed that local developers Arsh Mirmiran and Scott Plank would be teaming up on a bid. Mirmiran, a partner at Caves Valley Partners (CVP), developed 1111 Light Street, Riverside Wharf, and the former M&T Bank on Cross St. CVP will also be developing the proposed Stadium Square project. Plank is a partner on 900 East Fort Ave., owns many properties around South Baltimore, and is a partner at North Baltimore’s Belvedere Square Market, which the duo drew comparisons in a Baltimore Business Journal article.

Mirmiran and Plank would have to bid on the opportunity through the RFP process, but they would certainly bring much retail and real estate experience to the project. Mirmiran said on Twitter that significant upgrades could be made without shutting down the market for a period of time.

In one of SouthBMore.com’s most popular Facebook posts of the year, readers were asked about what changes they would like to see. The most popular answers were better hours, better produce, more natural light, the addition of a pho place, the addition of a ramen place, the addition of an Atwater’s, and the additions of a bakery, bagel shop, and more. Responses were also very complimentary about some of the existing establishments in the market, including Nick’s Seafood, Pop Tacos, Cheese Galore, Fenwick Meats, Steve’s Lunch, Bruce Lee Wings, and The Pretzel Twist.

What will the future of the Cross Street Market look like? 2015 should provide some answers.

The South Baltimore Now Podcast Latest Episodes Produced by Nathan Carper: https://www.natecarpercreative.com

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.
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