Future BARCS Location and Topgolf Both Moving Forward

| October 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

In May, Topgolf announced that it will be building a new facility in place of Parking Lot J and Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. (BARCS) and The Office of Animal Control facility at 301 Stockholm St. in Stadium Area. BARCS will be relocating to 2490 Giles Rd. in Cherry Hill where it will get a brand new facility. Both projects are currently moving forward and are expected to begin construction next year.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore’s owner CBAC Gaming (the partnership of Caesars, Rock Gaming, and Caves Valley Partners (CVP)) is a partner in both projects. In March 2017, the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the BARCS site which required finding a new home for BARCS. Topgolf/CBAC was the lone bidder.

CBAC will be building a new “state-of-the-art” indoor and outdoor facility for BARCS in Cherry Hill. Topgolf ‘s three-story building will be constructed on Parking Lot J, and the current site of BARCS will serve as the outfield for the driving range. Therefore, Topgolf can begin construction before BARCS has completed its relocation.

SouthBMore.com spoke with Arthur Adler of CVP to get an update on both projects.

2490 Giles Rd. is a City-owned, 3.8-acre property that currently consists of two buildings. One building was in a state of disrepair and is currently getting demolished by CBAC. The other was the home of MedMark Treatment Centers Cherry Hill which recently relocated to 1801 Cherry Hill Rd. That building will also be demolished.

Adler said that planning for the new BARCS facility has been underway and that the drawings are “fairly well-advanced.” The cost and exact size of the facility has not yet been determined, but Adler noted that it will be larger, more modern, and more efficient than the current BARCS facility. CBAC is hoping to complete construction in 10 to 12 months. South Baltimore’s Plano Coudon has been selected to lead construction.

CBAC is just the developer of the new BARCS facility. When the facility is completed it will be run and owned by BARCS and The Office of Animal Control.

CBAC originally had a building under contract at 2800 Wegworth Ln. in Lakeland for a new BARCS facility, but the deal fell through because “the seller of that property was unable to find a suitable site to relocate its business,” according the Board of Estimates agenda.

The BDC then identified the site on Giles Rd. for a BARCS replacement facility and it was approved by the Board of Public Works.

Topgolf’s facility will be 65,000 sq. ft. on more than six acres. Topgolf’s building features a large sports bar and driving range bays that will front Warner St. on Lot J. The 215-yard driving range will span eastward across the property through the current BARCS site.

Adler said that Topgolf is working through the typical approval and planning process for a new Baltimore building along with working with the Maryland Department of Environment. He noted that its waterfront location does make it a bit more complicated. Construction is expected to begin next year and the facility is expected to open in 2020.

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. It is designed for players of all skill levels.

Topgolf COO Craig Kessler said 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 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.

Topgolf will be part of an entertainment-focused mixed used development by CBAC along Warner St. which connects Horseshoe Casino Baltimore to M&T Bank Stadium.

CBAC acquired 1400 Warner St., a 41,193 sq. ft. building on a 1.476 acre property in May. CBAC acquired the four-story, 91,744 sq. ft. building at 1300 Warner St. 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.

CBAC has not yet released a vision or announced any additional partners for this mixed-use development. “There are lots of meetings and concepts, but nothing ready to talk about quite yet,” said Adler.

CBAC officials met with Baltimore City officials last week to look at some streetscape improvements in the district.

The Ravens and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore announced an official partnership last week which includes co-marketing and a Ravens-themed bar in the casino. Baltimore Ravens Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Business Development Kevin Rochlitz said that the Ravens are looking into opening a team store or hall of fame in this district.

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 underwent a conversion to a 50,000 sq. ft. office building with wedding venue. A block east at 175 W. Ostend St. is 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. The Ravens are also underway on an $120-million renovation to M&T Bank Stadium.

Future BARCS site

MedMark Treatment Centers Cherry Hill’s new location at 1801 Cherry Hill Rd.

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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