Port Covington Development Receives Final Design Approval for its First Four Buildings

| July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Port Covington Development Team started construction on the infrastructure for Chapter 1 of its 235-acre, $5.5-billion, multi-decade Port Covington Development in May. Last week, the team received  final design approval from the Baltimore City Planning Commission for the first four buildings that will begin construction in Chapter 1 in “the coming months.”

The Port Covington Development Team is comprised of owners Kevin Plank’s Plank Industries and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. Weller Development Company is leading the development and construction.

Chapter 1 is taking place on the eastern section of Port Covington along E. Cromwell St. in a large grass lot adjacent to The Baltimore Sun’s Sun Park. Across E. Cromwell St. is Sagamore Spirit Distillery and Rye Street Tavern, which first opened two years ago. The approximately $700-million phase is planned to include approximately 1.38 million sq. ft. of office, 337,450 sq. ft. of retail, 976,667 sq. ft. of residential, and 285,000 sq. ft. of hotel space across more than 12 city blocks. East Waterfront Park is partially open and will be expanded along the waterfront.

These first four buildings will comprise two blocks in lots E7 and E6 in the Chapter 1 site map.

E7 will be comprised of a three-building complex called Rye Street Market. The 275,000 sq. ft. development will have 185,000 sq. ft. of office space, a 13,000 sq. ft. open-air market and food hall, 50,000 sq. ft. of pedestrian-oriented retail, a 12,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art meeting facility, and a 15,000 sq. ft. rooftop event space.

Rye Street Market will include a two- and three-story glass and steel public market building that will have a large rooftop deck overlooking the Patapsco River. The market will have glass garage doors along the first floor so that it can have an indoor/outdoor feel on nice days. There will also be an indoor courtyard connecting all four buildings and outdoor seating along the sidewalks.

There will also be a “19th Century mercantile-inspired” five-story office building  and two six-story office buildings with a traditional brick design. All of the buildings will be connected by an outdoor shared courtyard, skywalks, and other design features.

Rye Street Market is designed by Morris Adjmi Architects.

E6 will be an eight-story, H-shaped building with a private tree-lined street with residential walk-up units and dedicated car pick-up and drop-off locations, as well as 17,685 sq. ft. of retail lining the first floor. This 290,000 sq. ft.-building will have 252 apartment units and 10,750 sq. ft. of amenity space.

The building’s first floor will be mostly glass with a canopy structure that goes over the retail spaces. The top floors will have large windows, brick and steel facades, and terraces, many of which will overlook the Patapsco River.

This building is designed by architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht

Marc Weller, founding partner of Weller Development Company, said the following to SouthBMore.com in a statement: “Our development team continues to deliver on the promise that Port Covington is a place for everyone. We appreciate the tireless work of the Baltimore City staff to get us one step closer to delivering this next phase following the recent design approval from the Baltimore City Planning Commission on the next five buildings we are set to deliver in Port Covington. This approval represents more than $500 million of development, including apartments, offices, hospitality, shops, restaurants, and market spaces. It is the culmination of an 18-month process involving world-class architects, designers and engineers.”

He added, “We are working toward vertical construction as this transformational development comes to life in the coming months as a future growth catalyst for Baltimore and the region.”

Three additional buildings on three additional lots in Chapter 1 have been presented to Baltimore City Planning Department’s Urban Design & Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP

Tidewater Yacht Service is closing its marina and boat repair business at 321 E. Cromwell St. in Port Covington at the end of July. Tidewater sold its property, but not its repair business, to The Port Covington Development Team last year. E. Cromwell St. will be realigned into Tidewater’s 7.83-acre property to give the street a straight northeast orientation whereas it currently bends north.

Tidewater’s property will also become an extension of East Waterfront Park which is partially open in front of Sagamore Spirit Distillery. Work on this shoreline has been under construction in recent weeks. It will eventually include a waterfront promenade that will extend through much of the Port Covington 2.5-mile waterfront.

A mixed-use development is planned for the rest of Tidewater’s property.

The Port Covington master plan includes a 50-acre, 3.9-million sq. ft. global headquarters for Under Armour at the former Port Covington Shopping Center; 1,500,000 sq. ft. of destination, attraction, entertainment, and specialty retail; 500,000 sq. ft. of “maker” and industrial/light manufacturing space; 200-plus hotel rooms; 1,500,000 sq. ft. of office space (in addition to the Under Armour Global Headquarters); and civic and cultural uses including 40-plus acres of public parks, a public waterfront, and other public facilities. It also includes more than 7,500 residential units, which could total up to 14,000 units comprised of rental and for-sale properties at various price-points, and potential sites for a post office, school, library, fire station, police paddock, and cultural center.

Already completed at Port Covington in Phase 1A is City Garage, which redeveloped an existing building in 2015 into a 133,000 sq. ft. office building that is “a hub for manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship;” Building 37, which converted the former Sam’s Club into a 170,000 sq. ft. Under Armour office building and amenity space; 240 W. Dickman St., which underwent some renovations and is now the home to workforce development non-profits; and the four-building Sagamore Spirit whiskey distillery which includes Rye Street Tavern, and renovations to the Baltimore Yacht Basin marina and Nick’s Fish House. 

The Port Covington Development Team has also made public space improvements which include landscaped medians, taking over maintenance of West Covington Park where it added outdoor bar South Point, a new mural, and adding new off-street and on-street bike and pedestrian paths.

Rye Street Market Renderings from UDAAP courtesy of Weller Development and Morris Adjmi Architects

A previous Rendering of E6 courtesy of Weller Development and Hord Coplan Macht

Chapter 1 Site plan courtesy of Weller Development

Chapter 1 renderings courtesy of Weller Development 

Overhead shot courtesy of Google Maps

Chapter 1 infrastructure work 

Shoreline work for East Waterfront Park 

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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.