Port Covington Team Rebrands Project ‘Baltimore Peninsula,’ Inks New Partnership
The development team leading the massive redevelopment of the city’s Port Covington peninsula has rechristened the project Baltimore Peninsula.
The goal of the rebranding, the developers said, is to provide a name reflecting the development’s full impact on the peninsula south of Interstate 95 extending into the Middle Branch. Two leaders of the development team, MAG Partners CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin and MacFarlane Partners CEO Victor MacFarlane, spoke with Bisnow about the project’s status on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.
“We’ve created a name that reveals character and personality, all authentic, and above all, it’s a name around which we will deliver a value proposition, which is a call to action,” Gilmartin said. “It’s an opportunity for Baltimore to be trailblazing and be a leader in creating a new kind of development project.”
Along with the rebranding, the development team has unveiled alterations to the master plan and a new partnership with a software company.
The project has been controversial with some residents since backers first sought more than $500M in public tax increment financing to improve infrastructure on the site in 2016. The team eventually garnered public support for the financing by entering into a community benefits agreement with surrounding neighborhoods that exceeded $100M.
In May, Sagamore Ventures and Goldman Sachs announced that MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners would take over from Weller Development Co. as the project’s lead developers.
In September, Gilmartin said during Bisnow’s Baltimore State of the Market event that she planned to rebrand the site and update its master plan.
Since taking over the project, she said the primary focus for the development team has been “leasing, leasing, leasing,” as buildings in the second phase of construction, dubbed 1B, are expected to start delivering in a matter of weeks and months.
The five buildings in Phase 1B of development include 1.1M SF of office, retail and residential space. Developers expect construction will finish on those assets between the end of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.
Those properties include Rye Market, which comprises 228K SF of office and 45K SF of market space. H. Chambers Co., a 123-year-old interior design business, has already inked a 10-year lease for nearly 8K SF in Rye Market.
Peninsula Baltimore’s most significant office building, 2455 House St., has two potential tenants that would fully occupy its 212K SF of office space, Gilmartin said.
She said the development team hopes to announce an unnamed tenant at 2455 House St. by the end of the year. CFG Bank’s executive has already publicly expressed interest in relocating its headquarters to the property.
“[CFG CEO] Jack Dwyer has openly spoke about his hope to be part of our project, and we feel the same way. We love the company, we love the CEO and founder, we love their commitment to workforce development,” Gilmartin said.
In addition to the rebranding, the developers revealed alterations to the site’s master plan that guides building on the site.
The most significant change is the inclusion of a boulevard running northwest to southeast across the peninsula. Designers hope the boulevard will better connect the peninsula, which is cut off from the rest of the city by I-95.
The shifts in the plan, she said, will also better connect the development with the new Under Armour headquarters, which the athletic apparel firm is building on the 250-acre Port Covington peninsula.
The Under Armour campus is building its new headquarters independent of the Baltimore Peninsula development. However, Kevin Plank, the athletic brand’s founder, is a major financial backer of the redevelopment via his investment firm Sagamore Ventures.
Developers have already held conversations about the changes to the site plans with the city, Gilmartin said. Those changes, she said, will not require additional approval from city officials who started reviewing site plans for the project more than five years ago.
The Baltimore Peninsula team also said it has partnered with software company Sweeten Enterprises to deliver what the developers bill as an “unparalleled level of transparency, innovation, and inclusiveness to local minority and women-owned business participation in Baltimore development projects.”
Through the partnership, Sweeten will provide any interested developer with its platform so they can measure their progress in hiring minority- and women-owned businesses.
So far, the Baltimore Peninsula team said it has committed over $132M in contracts to city-certified minority- and women-owned enterprises. So far the developers have exceeded goals set for such businesses participation in building the development.
The firm reported a 35% participation for minority-owned firms and 13% for women-owned enterprises.
Contact Adam Bednar at [email protected]