Updated Plans Presented for the Westport Waterfront Redevelopment

| January 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Last week, Stonewall Capital presented an updated master plan for its 43-acre development on the Westport Waterfront to Baltimore City Planning Department’s Urban Design & Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP). Stonewall Capital made changes to the master plan from the feedback of the panelists and comments from the Westport community. The plan still includes 1,575 housing units, retail, innovation/office space, parks, trails, and green spaces.

Stonewall Capital is under contract to purchase the parcel from Plank Industries, which is a partner in the Port Covington Development Team. The Port Covington Development Team is underway on a 235-acre, $5.5-billion development of Port Covington which sits across the Middle Branch from Port Covington. Plank Industries purchased the waterfront parcel in 2015, but never presented any plans for development.

In 2004, Turner Development proposed a development at the Westport parcel with 2 million sq. ft. of office space, 300,000 sq. ft. of retail, and 2,000 residential units, but never moved forward after it demolished the existing buildings and remediated some of the existing land. The property fell into foreclosure before finally being sold at auction to Plank Industries.

Stonewall Capital has a different vision for the property which is a transit-oriented development focused around residential townhomes and apartment buildings with some retail and commercial spaces. The Westport parcel is adjacent to a light rail station and close to I-295. It also has a long shoreline along the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River which will be open to the public.

The master plan has 275 garage townhomes; an affordable housing development with 300 multi-family units; three market-rate apartment buildings totaling 1,000 units and 40,000 sq. ft. of commercial and retail space; and an 100,000 sq. ft. innovation center/office building. The development will have 11.8 acres of green and open space including a large park in the center of the development.

Stonewall Capital is a land developer and will partner with development companies for the townhomes and buildings. Stonewall Capital owner Ray Jackson described himself as a general manager who is tasked with putting together a great team.

Stonewall Capital is working with MRA City Studio on the master plan.

UDAAP wanted Stonewall to establish view corridors with the existing Westport community by continuing the street grid of Maisel, Kent, Manokin, Trestle, Indiana, and Clare Streets. This can be seen in a reorientation of the street grids for the townhomes, which now have more of a traditional Baltimore rowhome street grid, and in the positioning and shape of the multi-family buildings.

The panelists also wanted to see Wenburn St., which is the only street that connects this waterfront parcel to the existing street grid in the community because of the CSX and Light Rail tracks, to continue through into the development. Wenburn St. previously ran into a new park in the master plan.

Stonewall Capital also further defined its public spaces showing areas for playgrounds, which was one of the comments from the Westport Community Economic & Development Corporation (CDEC), and also defined areas for a beach, wetlands, trails, open spaces, water access, swales, and legacy structures.

Stonewall Capital currently has a partner for the affordable housing and townhomes at Westport. Jackson said he’d announce the townhome partner this month.

Jackson said he will meet with the planning department this week and get further guidance on how to move forward. He wants to break ground in the next 12 to 18 months. Phase One will be the affordable housing and townhomes, the park, and possibly the first apartment building which will have 350 market-rate units and 40,000 sq. ft. of commercial/retail space.

Jackson said the communication with the Westport and adjacent communities has been “phenomenal” and “proactive and positive with common goals.”

Master Plan from December (click to enlarge)

Master Plan from last week (click to enlarge)

Slide from the presentation last week defining the waterfront spaces (click to enlarge)

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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 [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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