Preliminary Work Begins on Topgolf and Gwynns Falls Trail Park Renovation

| January 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

Preliminary soil work began this week on a project that will bring a Topgolf and a renovated waterfront park to the “Warner Street District” between Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and M&T Bank Stadium. The master developer for this new entertainment district is Horseshoe Casino Baltimore’s owner CBAC Gaming, which is a partnership of Caesars, Rock Gaming, and Caves Valley Partners (CVP).

Topgolf will be the first project to break ground on this development which will ultimately include the Paramount Baltimore music venue, a hotel, retail, entertainment attractions, and enhanced public spaces.

In March 2017, Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Animal Control and BARCS site at 301 Stockholm St. which required finding a new home for the facilities. Topgolf and CBAC Gaming was the lone bidder. CBAC identified the site at 2490 Giles Rd. in Cherry Hill and prepped the site for BDC to construct a new facility for Animal Control and BARCS, which opened last year. CBAC and Topgolf purchased the project site for $7.5 million which went towards the new Animal Control and BARCS facility.

Part of the Topgolf agreement with BDC is a plan for improvements to the adjacent trail and park located behind the casino’s parking garage and along the Gwynns Falls Trail and Ridgely’s Cove.

The Gwynns Falls Trail park will be cleaned up with two feet of clean fill soil. A lot of phragmites, or invasive plant species, will be removed and new native plant species will be planted. The project will retain as many of the native trees as possible. BDC Executive Vice President Kimberly Clark told SouthBMore.com that removal of the phragmites will make the park feel a lot more open, which in turn will open up views to the waterfront.

Recreation and Parks capital improvement funds are contributing to this project.

This week, new soil, which is clean dredge material from the Port of Baltimore, was brought to the park. The material was being stored at Cox’s Creek. Topgolf’s contractors are adding some fencing to the site, clearing out some non-native species, and adding the new soil to the site.

Clark said they are trying to get demolition started soon at the former Animal Control and BARCS buildings and that “real work” on the project will likely start in late March or early April.

Topgolf will construct a 65,000 sq. ft., two-story sports bar and driving range building on Warner St. The driving range will move east and end at the Light Rail bridge. Topgolf is on a six-acre site.

This project spent recent years getting approvals from Maryland Department of the Environment, Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Stormwater Management, and Critical Area Commission of the Chesapeake Bay. The project was expected to break ground least year, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warners Street District Master Plan Renderings from BCT Design Group

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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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