Port Covington Updates for Chapter 1B: Affordable Housing Totals, Hotel Added

| June 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

Last week, the Port Covington Development Team announced its plans for affordable housing in Chapter 1B of the development along with plans to replace an apartment building with a hotel. The Port Covington Development is a 235-acre, $5.5-billion, multi-decade development in South Baltimore.

The Port Covington Development Team is comprised of owners Plank Industries and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group with Weller Development leading the development and construction of the project. Whiting-Turner is the general contractor for Chapter 1.

During the negotiations for a $534,795,000 tax increment financing (TIF) bonds package with Baltimore City, the Port Covington Development Team agreed to increase the amount of affordable housing in the project to 20 percent of all residential units, which could reach 14,000. At least 60 percent of these affordable units must be provided on site, while the balance may be developed off site to address affordable housing needs in other Baltimore City neighborhoods.

Infrastructure work for Chapter 1B started in May 2019, was paused in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will resume this fall when the first round of $148 million in TIF bonds are released to the Port Covington Development team after being sold on the market.

Two apartment buildings will be constructed in Chapter 1B of the project, which will be the first residential units added to Port Covington in the project. The only other existing housing in the Port Covington neighborhood is seven longstanding rowhomes on W. McComas St.

A six-story, 290,000 sq. ft., H-shaped apartment building with 254 apartment units and 17,685 sq. ft. of retail will be built in block E6 of the project. In 2019, the Port Covington Development Team received Low Income Housing Tax Credits from Maryland Housing and Community Development’s Community Development Authority (CDA) for 54 units in this apartment building. These units will be available to applicants with 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI).

A seven-story building with 150 to 158 housing units, up to 68,000 sq. ft. of retail, and a 1,400 sq. ft. parking garage will be constructed at lot E1. This building will have 35 affordable housing units with both 80 percent and 30 percent AMI units. 

This will give Chapter 1B 20 percent affordable units on site.

An eight-story, 233,000 sq. ft. building with 8,200 sq. ft. of retail at lot E5B was initially proposed to be an apartment building with 148 units, however it will now be a hotel with 121 furnished, extended-stay rooms. The Port Covington Development Team provided the following statement about the change in plans:

“This concept was envisioned to enhance the logical lodging options for visiting business people who will do business with Port Covington tenants (or employees of Port Covington tenants from out of state who may need to be in town for weeks to months); this concept adds variety to the product type and provides a hybrid hotel option from the beginning. Each of the larger (50k sf+) tenant prospects have asked and/or requested such a housing option.”

Chapter 1B also includes a project called Rye Street Market on lot E7. This 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.

The final building that has been proposed at this time for Chapter 1B is an eight-story building with 223,000 sq. ft. of office space and 10,000 sq. ft. of retail at lot E5A.

Chapter 1 Site plan courtesy of Weller Development

Chapter 1 renderings courtesy of Weller Development 

Rye Street Market 

Apartment Building at E6. Rendering courtesy of Weller Development and Hord Coplan Macht

Apartment building at E1. Renderings Courtesy of Torti Gallas + Partners Architects and Weller Development 


Hotel at E5B. Rendering courtesy of Weller Development and Hord Coplan Macht

Office building at E5A. Rendering courtesy of Weller Development and MGMA

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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.