An Interview with Outgoing Port Covington Developer Marc Weller of Weller Development

| May 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

Marc Weller Photo courtesy of Weller Development 

Earlier this month, The Port Covington Development Team announced MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners will take over as the development partners of the Port Covington Development. Weller Development will exit the project at the completion of the 1.1 million sq. ft. Chapter 1B phase in Fall 2023.

The Port Covington Development Team is owned by Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Ventures and Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners are becoming investors in the project.

A total of 177 acres of development are planned for the project. This will include 14 million sq. ft. of mixed-use development on 45 new city blocks. spoke with Weller Development President and Founding Partner Marc Weller about his more than eight years spent getting the project off the ground, completing Chapter 1B, and the future of his company.

Weller, a childhood friend of Kevin Plank and development veteran, was picked to lead Plank’s former company Sagamore Development. In 2017, Weller moved his team at Sagamore Development over to his new company Weller Development.

“Kevin realized he didn’t need to own his own development company,” said Weller.

“We are entrepreneurs and needed independence to take it the next level. Kevin wasn’t interested in working on projects around the country, only in Baltimore,” he said.

In Port Covington, Weller and his team worked through the property acquisition process, developed a master plan that was approved by the City, secured Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bonds, and negotiated community benefits agreements. On the construction side, Weller Development oversaw construction of the Sagamore Spirit distillery, the renovation of City Garage, improvements to public spaces and West Covington Park, renovations to Nick’s Fish House, improvements to Baltimore Yacht Basin, and the Chapter 1 infrastructure and five new buildings now under construction. The company also brought events to Port Covington.

Plank said in a press release, “Getting the project to this point has been nothing short of herculean by Weller Development Company and the entire Port Covington Development Team.”

Weller said Chapter 1B is under budget, ahead of schedule, and has exceeded community commitments.

Regarding the exit from the Port Covington project, Weller told, “The plan was always to go and find other developers who wanted to build inside Port Covington. It took one developer to take the lead on this project so that other developers could then come in and take other parcels.”

Of the five buildings under construction, two are offices buildings and three are residential. All five will have retail. No office or retail tenants have been announced at this time.

Also now underway in Port Covington, but independent from the Port Covington Development, is the construction of Under Armour’s new campus. Developer Mark Sapperstein of 28 Walker is also planning 814 housing units on the 25-acre former Locke Insulators property.

“When you create density you create demand,” said Weller. “We could literally not be more excited about the status of the Under Armour campus, and Mark Sapperstein being in there is a gift.”

Weller also started Weller Management Company which will continue to manage various properties.

Weller and Weller Development Partner Steve Siegel are both from the Washington, D.C. area. Weller said the company will “probably at some point” move its headquarters to Montgomery County or Washington, D.C. He said it is important for the company to be near an airport.

Weller Development is working on a project on Grand Bahama, and is bidding on a mixed-used development in Richmond, VA centered around a new minor league baseball stadium.

Weller told the company is focusing on the southeast of the United States.

Outside of Port Covington, the team at Weller worked on the Sagamore Pendry hotel in Fell’s Point and the UA House recreation center in East Baltimore.

“We are big problem solvers and work on big visionary projects,” said Weller. “Our real value is in taking big and difficult projects and turning them into reality. Getting to the scale we’ve got to has opened a lot of doors for us.”

Weller said the company is interested in continuing to work in Baltimore, but does not have any projects in the pipeline at this time.

“At the end of the day, hopefully we’ll be remembered for our impact around city, with the SB7 coalition, and as company that never forgot how important the community was,” he said.

Regarding Port Covington, Weller said, “We couldn’t be more excited with what we accomplished, the condition we are leaving it in, and who we are handing it off to. People are really going to see Port Covington come to life in the next year.” 

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