June 3, 2024
The Real Deal

“New York street fighter”: MaryAnne Gilmartin takes on $5.5B development

 MaryAnne Gilmartin (Photo by Paul Dilakian/The Real Deal)

On a balcony in Chelsea, with views that sweep the West Side of Manhattan, MaryAnne Gilmartin is looking at the scene below, taking in the progress of her company’s newest development. 

It is the kind of project that gives Gilmartin a good feeling, built on West 26th Street on land owned by the Penn South co-op village. 

“It resembles the New York I grew up with and love,” says Gilmartin, now 60. She mentions a Lidl grocery store coming to the property, in contrast with what she calls the “towers of power” at nearby Hudson Yards. 

“They look like something out of Shanghai,” she says, and casually adds that Related Companies, a major developer at Hudson Yards, was a competing bidder for the co-op’s ground lease. 

With that project and another in Midtown East topping out, Gilmartin is closing in on a 900-unit portfolio of new multifamily apartments since launching her company, MAG Partners, in 2018. 

“MaryAnne’s goal in life is building,” said Mary Ann Tighe, the legendary CBRE broker who Gilmartin credits as her longtime mentor. 

The company is a year into leasing its largest project, a 480-unit through-block property on West 28th Street, also built by virtue of a ground lease, this time from the Gottesman family of the Edison parking empire. 

MAG brought equity partners into its two latest projects — Eyal Ofer’s Global Holdings on East 50th Street and MetLife Investment Management at the Penn South co-op — amid tighter financial conditions and New York’s uncertain regulatory environment. 

On West 28th Street, construction debt from Madison Realty Capital was refinanced by Elliot Investment Management in a joint venture with Adi Chugh. 

“MaryAnne’s goal in life is building.” MARY ANN TIGHE, CBRE 

To Gilmartin, it felt as though the projects were among the last in the city to get financing to qualify for the then-expiring 421a tax abatement — which has since been extended, and will be replaced by a new provision dubbed 485x

“For a company like us, we might be interested in building projects with under 100 units,” Gilmartin said. Such projects would prevent wage requirements from kicking in under 485x as well as reduce the affordability requirement from 25 to 20 percent of new apartments. 

From the balcony where Gilmartin stands, past achievements dot the skyline, including the New York Times building and the Frank Gehry-designed 8 Spruce Street. Prodded about these accomplishments, which Gilmartin tackled while at Forest City Ratner, she explains them in ways that bolster her image as a developer who can overcome any obstacle. 

Skyscrapers were anathema following 9/11, yet the Times building, designed by Renzo Piano, began to rise in 2004; the Gehry tower was realized despite the Great Financial Crisis threatening to topple a $680 million loan syndicate, according to Gilmartin. She bills her current projects as a triumph over Covid and unpredictable public policy. 

Once one of the city’s most ambitious developers, Forest City vaulted Gilmartin’s career before its Atlantic Yards project scarred her personally — and maybe professionally. 

Luckily for Gilmartin, she seems to relish doing the difficult. 

Charm City 

Today, Gilmartin’s biggest undertaking sits on a forgotten industrial peninsula in south Baltimore, a vastly different place than the one where she honed her reputation as a steadfast New York developer. 

“When it first came up, I’m like, Baltimore, really?” said Andrew Trickett, formerly of Safanad, which provided equity backing to MAG’s multifamily projects in Manhattan, thanks in part to an introduction from Safanad board member and top New York real estate attorney Marty Edelman

Gilmartin’s change of scenery began about two years ago, and although she emphasizes that she works simultaneously in New York and Baltimore, that change also reflects the city that made her. 

Rendering of 335 Eighth Avenue (MAG Partners) 

“In Baltimore, they actually welcome you,” she says, echoing a common refrain among New York developers who have pursued projects in other cities. 

Gilmartin frequently blasts New York City politics on her active public speaking schedule, where she charms audiences with industry anecdotes and advocates for more women to join her field. 

“The only reason Eric Adams needs to call his housing plan ‘the City of Yes’ is that everyone knows that New York is the ‘city of no’ and has been that way for a long time,” she says matter-of-factly. 

Baltimore was once dubbed “America’s Comeback City,” and Gilmartin’s company of 30 employees will try to create a new comeback story there by developing 1.1 million square feet of new residential, office and hospitality properties on a 235-acre spread owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank. It is a $5.5 billion development, backed by Goldman Sachs. 

“Plank says he hired a New York street fighter to help him in Baltimore,” says Gilmartin. 

That kind of reception is a welcome change to Gilmartin, against whom recriminations over Atlantic Yards became deeply personal. Twenty years ago, the hugely ambitious redevelopment of Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights brought protesters to her family home in Crown Heights when local residents were displaced. As Forest City wound down its New York operations, Gilmartin cut the deal to sell the project to Greenland, a Chinese firm that has since defaulted on its debt. 

Before Safanad agreed to partner with MAG on its three New York projects, Trickett conducted due diligence that included understanding Gilmartin’s role in Atlantic Yards. “I think it was painful for her,” he said. “In everything that we could uncover, she was as above board as you can be in a difficult situation.” 

According to Trickett, “I don’t think Baltimore was a reach out because New York was too hard. It was really relationship-based,” he said, referring to Plank and Goldman, among others. “There may be a ton that can come out of this.” 

Scrapes and a scrapbook 

A Queens native, Gilmartin emerged from real estate obscurity. 

After her father walked out on the family with the babysitter, she and two sisters grew up with their mother in Woodstock, where a stepfather appeared and landed in jail for tax evasion. Her determination to escape the chaos of her family life often translated to real estate ambition. 

“We were both self-inventions,” said Tighe. “We had huge ambitions for what we wanted to be.” Gilmartin regularly says she “won the career lottery” by meeting Tighe, and she has tried to emulate that relationship. 

“Plank says he hired a New York street fighter to help him in Baltimore.” 

“MaryAnne was a tremendous mentor to me,” said Susi Yu, the former head of development at MAG. “She put me in front of Bruce [Ratner]. She showed me what it was to work professionally at a high level and still show up as a mother.” 

Gilmartin hired Yu out of Columbia University’s graduate real estate program to work at Forest City, eventually taking Yu with her to start MAG. “Don’t get me wrong,” Yu added. “She’s tough as a boss.” 

Yu left MAG a year ago to pursue building film and TV studios in New York alongside Travis Feehan and Bain Capital. During her last year at the development firm, there were internal discussions aimed at finding a financial backer for a new round of projects. 

That financial backer has yet to emerge. Still, Gilmartin is sure she doesn’t want to go piecemeal, and says she needs a partner that can guarantee the completion, speaking financially, of more than a single development project at a time. 

Ideally for her, that person is a woman. 

One of Gilmartin’s longstanding goals is to complete a development project with a woman in each of its leadership roles. To date, a female financial partner has eluded her most (and an investment banker who happens to be a woman isn’t going to cut it, she says). Gilmartin’s own ambitions may also complicate the picture. 

“I think Safanad has been a perfect partner,” said Trickett, now at Lendlease. “It just may not be at the necessary scale for what she is trying to do over the next five, 10, 15 years.” 

The Ruby at 243 West 28th Street (MAG Partners) 

To match money supply with money demand, Gilmartin convenes a weekly “hunting group” to prospect for deals. Pursuits include ground leases for residential and mixed-use, public-private partnerships and sports-anchored master plans. While enthusiastic about office-to-residential conversions, “it may be too early on those to lower the cost basis,” she says. 

In the meantime, there are some loose ends to tie up. 

In a crawling Uber ride through Midtown, Gilmartin is on her way to a meeting about rolling over debt on her 480-unit rental building in Chelsea. Her hope is to avoid putting permanent debt on the project, given the current level of interest rates. If accomplished, she can add it to a long list of her publicized achievements over the years. 

As the car turns into a tunnel, with the gilded clock on Grand Central’s facade just visible and Gilmartin’s face darkened, impossible to decipher, she briefly revisits her turbulent upbringing. Did her parents’ deaths cut short 

hopes of a reconciliation, or of finally receiving their affirmation? She 

“After she died, I went with my sisters and we found a scrapbook,” she says, opening an imaginary book with her hands. “She had kept everything we’d done, cut out from newspapers and pasted inside.” 

“My sister joked that my section seemed to be the thickest.” 

reveals a secret her mother kept. 

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May 31, 2024

MAG Partners tops out construction on nearly 400 units of Manhattan housing on the same day

300 East 50th Street Topping Out Coverage

Less than five years after real estate executive MaryAnne Gilmartin founded her own firm, MAG Partners, and a little over a year after leasing launched at Ruby, its first ground-up project, this amenity-rich, biophilic project has reached 85% leased. However, the woman-owned real estate firm has not rested on its laurels but stayed rather busy: Construction has topped out on not one but two forthcoming projects, 335 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea and 300 East 50th Street in Turtle Bay, on the same day.

300 East 50th Street Topping Out Coverage

Just as Ruby was named in honor of acclaimed fashion designer Ruby Bailey, these projects are expected to be named after influential women. These will be announced at a later date, and leasing on both projects will likely commence in 2025. In the meantime, we take a look at the forthcoming buildings that are set to bring nearly 400 units of mixed-income housing to Manhattan.

MAG Partners founder MaryAnne Gilmartin speaking at ceremony (Michael Young)

300 East 50th Street Topping Out Coverage

300 East 50th Street, Turtle Bay
Developed in partnership with Safanad and Global Holdings | Design by BKSK Architects 23 stories | 194 units

Rendering of 300 East 50th Street (BKSK Architects) | Photo taken late May 2024 (CityRealty)

50th Street Team – Danny Jumblatt, JJ Ofer, MaryAnne Gilmartin, Andy D_Amico, Todd Poisson, Kevin Wang, Reggie Kronstadt 300 East 50th Street is taking shape on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and East 50th Street, where it will make a dramatic statement between its towering height, detailed masonry, neutral-toned facade, and setbacks of varying heights. Permits indicate that there will be between ten to twelve apartments per floor on levels 2-15, and only five to seven apartments per floor on levels 16-23. The project also calls for five new trees to be planted on the two street frontages. As footings were laid just before the 421a tax abatement program expired in June 2022, 300 East 50th Street qualifies for the benefits and has designated 30% of the units inside as permanently affordable. All residents will enjoy access to amenities like a fitness center, a lounge, a bike room, a courtyard, and a roof deck.

300 East 50th Street, late May 2024 (CityRealty)

335 Eighth Avenue, Chelsea

Developed in partnership with Safanad and MetLife Investment Management | Design by COOKFOX
7 stories | 188 units

Rendering of 335 Eighth Avenue (COOKFOX)

Eighth Avenue Team – Ryan Dziedziech, Sara Queen, Andy D’Amico, MaryAnne Gilmartin, Ambur Nicosia, Danny Jumblatt, Rick Cook (Photo: Michael Young)

Just up the street from Ruby, MAG Partners has reunited with that project’s designer to replace the aging Penn South affordable housing cooperative with a new building designed to Passive House and LEED Gold certifications. COOKFOX is known for its biophilic designs, and founder Rick Cook describes the project as “wellness-focused, nature-connected residences for a diverse new community.” Renderings depict a modern take on historic Chelsea character.
Just like at 300 East 50th Street, 30% of units at 335 Eighth Avenue have been reserved for low- and middle-income New Yorkers. In addition to the new housing units, the project will bring new commercial space to this stretch of Chelsea just south of Penn Station, including a 23,000-square-foot Lidl supermarket. Moreover, at the topping-out ceremony, MAG Partners unveiled “Panoramica,” an original painting by Penn South resident Joseph Meloy that will hang on the fence for the duration of construction.

335 Eighth Avenue, late May 2024 (CityRealty)
May 31, 2024

300 East 50th Street Tops Out In Midtown, Manhattan

Construction has topped out on 300 East 50th Street, a 23-story residential building in MidtownManhattan. The $200 million project was developed in partnership between MAG PartnersGlobal Holdings, and Safanad, and was designed by BKSK Architects. The 170,000-square-foot building was constructed on an assemblage of multiple properties around the corner of East 50th Street and Second Avenue.

The 275-foot-tall structure is planned to yield 194 dwelling units with 30 percent designated as affordable housing under the Affordable NY program. The building will also offer 4,888 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Photograph of MaryAnne Gilmartin, by Michael Young

Amenities at 300 East 50th Street will include a fitness center, a rooftop deck, and bicycle storage.

“300 East 50th Street is a prime example of urban living,” said Eyal Ofer, chairman of Global Holdings. “The building offers a diverse unit mix, robust amenities, and all the elements of an elevated lifestyle. As we continue to expand our NYC luxury residential portfolio and work with the best partners in real estate, we’re proud to join MAG Partners and Safanad on this project and look forward to opening the doors to residents next year.”

The closest subways from the property are the E and M trains, a six-minute walk away at the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street station.

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May 30, 2024

Just In Time For Moving Season, Homes With View Of Blue

Baltimore Peninsula’s Rye House Rooftop, with the city’s Patapsco River in the background.

A few years ago, Zillow estimated waterfront homes are worth more than twice the value of homes in general. Access to the water for boating, swimming, fishing and kayaking accounts for some of that premium, as does the presence of waterfront amenities, such as beaches, boat launches and marinas. A more profound factor may be in play, too.

Biophilia is the term for the innate drive felt by humans to be close to nature. According to the National Institutes of Health, there’s both a biological and genetic link between humans and nature.

Biophilic design attempts to create connections within the built environment between the natural world and the humans who occupy built spaces.

The “14 Patterns of Biophilic Design” have been identified to help architects and developers leverage opportunities to bring building design and nature together. Pattern 5 is “Presence of Water.” Research has shown a number of health and wellbeing benefits are associated with proximity to water. They include reduced heart rate and blood pressure, decreased stress, a greater sense of tranquility and improved concentration and perception, leading to the conclusion that the regular sight, sound, and feel of crystalline water can leave us with an increased sense of wellbeing.

With the advantages of living near aqua as clear as natural spring water, can it be long before the waterfront living premium isn’t just double average homes, but maybe triple?

Consider leveraging the insightful truths of Pattern 5 by exploring these waterfront properties, whose “view of the blue” could just enhance your feeling of wellbeing.

Baltimore Peninsula

This 14-million-square-foot, master-planned enclave in South Baltimore, developed by MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners, overlooks the Patapsco River and features a trio of residential rental communities: Rve House, 250 Mission and 2460 Terrapin. Renters can select from studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and take advantage of amenities that include rooftop terrace lounges with water views.

“We have witnessed resident desires shift greatly over the past few years to prioritize mental and physical health,” says MaryAnne Gilmartin, MAG Partners founder and CEO. “Not only are they seeking pristine indoor amenities, but also an abundance of open waterfront greenspace right at their fingertips . . . Baltimore Peninsula is unique due to its setting on the Patapsco River, with miles of waterfront trails and an array of free wellness classes offered on an ongoing basis.”

Greenpoint Landing

The Park Tower Group-developed project is a 22-acre site stretching a half mile along the East River waterfront in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. When complete, Greenpoint Landing will feature approximately 5,500 market-rate and affordable residential units, along with five acres of public open space, including a waterfront esplanade and public pier. It is a reflection of the popular modern saying that while for decades, America turned its back on its rivers, today it’s facing straightforward toward them.

“Once an industrial waterfront walled off from the community, the area is now one of the most sought-after residential spaces in New York,” says Marian Klein, president, Park Tower Group.

The Yards

A Brookfield Properties development in Washington, D.C., The Yards when complete will feature two dozen buildings on 48 waterfront acres in the Navy Yard district along the Anacostia River. The project will deliver as many as 3,400 residences, 500,000 square feet of retail, dining and services, a flagship 225-room Thompson hotel, 1.8 million square feet of office and a waterfront park.

“The Yards is unlike any neighborhood in D.C., blending all the perks of urban living with an abundance of green space and waterfront serenity,”’ says Bobby Swennes, head of Brookfield Properties’ Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Region.

One Domino Square

An historic Domino Sugar Factory on the Williamsburg, Brooklyn East River banks has been transformed into three Selldorf Architecture-designed residential towers, including One Domino Square, featuring condos and rental units. “A leading piece of feedback we have received from interested prospective residents is a desire to live close to the water,” says Rebecca Epstein, managing director of residential leasing at Two Trees Management. “Williamsburg in particular offers a balanced blend of waterfront access, plenty of green space at Domino Park and urban vibrancy.”

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May 14, 2024

POWER 100 – #45 MaryAnne Gilmartin

Founder and CEO of MAG Partners

Last year’s ranking: 50

This market feels like it requires magic to get deals done — and that makes MaryAnne Gilmartin something of a magician. Gilmartin’s MAG Partners managed to finance, capitalize and break ground on two apartment building projects in 2023 — in a race against the expiration of the 421a development incentive in New York City.

In Manhattan’s Turtle Bay, MAG partnered with Safanad and Global Holdings on the equity side, and secured a $95 million construction loan from Bank OZK to build a $200 million, 24-story apartment building, scheduled to open in 2025.

Near Penn Station, MAG was selected to build a $150 million co-op building by affordable housing co-op Penn South. The firm partnered with Safanad and MetLife on the equity side, and secured a $73 million construction loan, also from Bank OZK. 

“We’re the poster child for doing the impossible,” said Gilmartin. 

Gilmartin founded MAG Partners five years ago, after spending 22 years at Forest City, where she helped develop a wide range of properties, including most notably the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn. 

The plucky way that she and her small team completed these more recent deals is a reflection of their ethos, said Gilmartin. As a small, newer and woman-led company, they couldn’t rely on deep pockets or generational wealth to get deals done.

MetLife, for example, usually wouldn’t even look at a company of her size. “Usually MetLife would want to see a very large portfolio. They’re used to more zeros,” said Gilmartin. “When we spoke to them, they were interested in de-risking and doing bite-size business, so they were more open to it.” 

MAG Partners also completed and refinanced Ruby, the firm’s first ground-up apartment development in Manhattan. Outside of New York, the firm is progressing on the Baltimore Peninsula megadevelopment, a 235-acre project in partnership with the family office of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank that will remake an entire neighborhood on Baltimore’s waterfront. Currently, 1.1 million square feet of office and retail space is already open, out of a total 14 million square feet of entitlement.

As a Brooklynite, Gilmartin loves and resonates with the Baltimore spirit, which really came to the fore after the recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. “We love Baltimore because it has that kind of grit and come-from-behind spirit that we like — because it’s similar to Brooklyn,” she said.

May 10, 2024
Commercial Obserever

Tex-Mex Flair and Karaoke Headed to Baltimore Peninsula

Baltimore’s Rye Street Market will soon see a new restaurant option along with a dedicated karaoke bar.

The MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners-led Baltimore Peninsula development group has inked two leases with Tex-Mex restaurant concept Urbano and karaoke purveyors Live-K, for a combined 12,300 square feet at the open-air retail and food plaza just a block from the edge of the Patapsco River.

Located in Baltimore’s Port Covington neighborhood, Baltimore Peninsula, as the development was branded in 2022, is a 235-acre project that will feature some 14 million square feet of mixed-use space, 2.5 miles of restored waterfront and 40 acres of parks and green space once fully completed.

Urbano, led by managing partner and executive chef Chad Sparrow and founding partner Larry Walston, is taking 4,500 square feet of space, while LIVE-K, with its 15 rooms for private karaoke parties, will take 7,800 square feet. Live-K’s new Baltimore joint follows the opening of its sister location in Washington, D.C.’s Wharf District in late 2022.

“It’s special to place our footprint in Baltimore and offer our innovative concept in a place that is close to our roots,” Sparrow said in a statement. “The development and vision of Baltimore Peninsula perfectly align with our concept, passion and growth plan.”

Retail leasing for Rye Street Market is handled by MAG Partners’ Sam Spikell and Ed Guiltinan, along with Segall Group’s Andy Segall and Jonathan Garritt. Constantine Gogos of Papadopoulos Properties represented Urbano in lease negotiations, while Shang Wang of Wang Enterprises represented Live-K.

“Our retail strategy at Baltimore Peninsula is driven by the goal of creating a vibrant, dynamic neighborhood. Already, the community’s retail provides critical amenities, exciting activities and enticing food and beverage destinations,” said MAG Partners founder and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin in a statement.

The new leases continue a string of activity in Baltimore Peninsula over the past year. The development announced 15 leasing deals in December, together totaling 65,000 square feet, with the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, investment firm Sagamore Ventures, Volo Sports and Jersey Mike’s, to name a few. In March, CFG Bank moved into its new 97,000-square-foot headquarters at 2455 House Street at the peninsula.

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April 22, 2024

300 East 50th Street Reaches Halfway Mark In Midtown East, Manhattan

Construction is rising on 300 East 50th Street, a 23-story residential building in the Turtle Bay section of Midtown East, Manhattan. Designed by BKSK Architects and developed by MAG Partners in collaboration with Global Holdings, KRW Realty Advisors, Krown Point, and Safanad, the 275-foot-tall structure will span 170,000 square feet and yield 194 units, with 30 percent allocated to affordable housing, as well as ground-floor retail space, a cellar level, and a 30-foot-long side yard. 300 East 50th Street Owner LLC is listed as the owner and Urban Atelier Group is the general contractor for the property, which is located at the intersection of Second Avenue and East 50th Street.

A significant amount of progress has unfolded since our last update in January, when foundation work was still ongoing. Recent photos show the reinforced concrete superstructure now reaching the halfway mark, and metal frame studs and insulation boards beginning to enclose the lower floors. Renderings indicate that the façade will be composed of light gray brick and a grid of floor-to-ceiling windows.

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

The below Google Street View image details the row of low-rise building that occupied the property prior to demolition work.

300 East 50th Street in Midtown East, Manhattan via Google Maps

The main rendering is oriented south and shows the uniform brickwork across the whole building. The first setback is situated on the 16th floor and topped with landscaped private terraces for select units. There are additional setbacks located on the 18th floor, followed by the roof parapet and mechanical bulkhead lined with metal grilles. The property will feature 100 feet of ground-floor retail frontage on the northern and western elevations, with large bay windows framed by bronze-colored paneling. King Contracting Group will be in charge of installing the CMU blocks, brick cladding, and EIFS panels.

The building is planned to house ten to 12 apartments per floor on levels two through 15, and five to seven apartments per floor on levels 16 through 23. Amenities include a shared rooftop deck, bicycle parking, a lounge, a fitness center, and an inner courtyard.

The nearest subways from the property are the E and M trains at the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street station, which provides a connection to the 6 train at the 51st Street station.

300 East 50th Street’s anticipated completion date is slated for the fourth quarter of 2025, as noted on site.

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April 17, 2024
The Baltimore Banner

What CFG Bank’s swanky new headquarters in South Baltimore says about its growth

Of all the artwork adorning CFG Bank’s new headquarters in Baltimore Peninsula, a simple photograph of three tulip bulbs is among Nicole Donegan’s favorites.

Designers initially suggested adorning the new headquarters for Maryland’s fastest growing bank with images of money or dollar bills. Donegan, CFG’s strategic planning manager, didn’t want to go there. Company leaders settled on a mix of locally produced artwork including the tulips photo — a subtle nod to the flower’s enormous financial boom during the Dutch Golden Age.

“This is all about currency,” Donegan said, looking Monday at the photo on the wall. “But not so obnoxious and obvious.”

The tulips are perhaps the only demure feature inside the sleek new high-rise office space in South Baltimore.

CFG Bank has moved into three floors of 2455 House St. where its approximately 260 employees have panoramic views of the city and waterfront as well as cushy amenities like a café-style employee lounge complete with a sports simulator, billiard table and shuffleboard. The company’s mission statement and other corporate values cast a neon glow along hallways leading to various board rooms, each outfitted with touch-screens displaying whether they’ve been booked for a meeting.

The shiny headquarters are the latest symbol of the company’s rapid expansion. CFG Bank grew exponentially from $1 billion in assets at the end of 2019 to over $5 billion in assets at the end of 2023. CEO Jack Dwyer has previously attributed the bank’s success to its ability to originate creative loans typical of a bigger bank, especially in the nursing home industry.

Since then, the little-known financial institution has bloomed as a prominent player in Baltimore’s business and philanthropic scenes. Look around the city and you’ll notice the CFG name and that of Dwyer on all sorts of civic projects and corporate sponsor lists: the overhaul of the Baltimore arena, expansion of the National Harbor’s floating wetlands and construction of the city’s first Catholic school in about 60 years, to name a few. CFG Bank and Dwyer are also sponsors of The Baltimore Banner.

Dwyer said the company outgrew its Baltimore County headquarters and consolidated two holdings — Capital Funding Bancorp, Inc. and Capital Funding Group Inc. — and their subsidiaries under one roof. Bancorp is the bank’s holding company and the funding group is the entity Dwyer initially founded to loan money in the health care industry.

Every inch of the 97,000 square feet of office space was designed to attract employees back to the workplace after a rise in remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. And Dwyer is also pledging to cover the cost of child care and pet care for his employees. Those programs are slated to begin in the first quarter 2025, Donegan said in an email.

“We need people back in the city, it’s extremely important,” Dwyer said.

Baltimore has been good to him from a business perspective, he said, and he feels an obligation to give back.

In the meantime, CFG executives said they are continuing to focus on growth. The company is taking on more partners for a second fund targeting residential buildings, including apartment complexes and condos, with the goal of reaching $10 billion in assets and, eventually, going public. Bancorp in January announced it had raised $160 million in capital.

That strategy hints at CFG Bank’s future with its founder serving as CEO. Although Dwyer has long been braided into the bank’s history, he only recently moved into the chief executive role in February. He was already serving as the Capital Funding Group’s CEO at the time of the announcement, which notably did not mention CFG Bank’s longtime CEO Bill Wiedel.

Dwyer credited Wiedel for doing “an absolutely fantastic job orchestrating the commercial bank into the Baltimore community,” he said. His departure from CFG was a result of c-suite level consolidation efforts.

In a statement, Wiedel, who had been CEO since 2018, said he enjoyed his time at CFG Bank immensely.

“I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished during my tenure,” Wiedel said in the statement. “I’m currently exploring quite a few opportunities. I’m excited for what the future has in store.”

Back inside Dwyer’s glass-wrapped corner office overlooking the water, the CEO and several other top leaders including Donegan looked around at their sunny new space in Baltimore Peninsula. There will definitely be room to grow.

“We were bursting at the seams,” Dwyer said.

Correction: This story was corrected to note that CFG Bank has leased three floors for its new headquarters at 2455 House St.

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April 17, 2024


New HQ Accommodates CFG’s Growth, Fosters “Best Place to Work” Award-Winning Culture, and Supports Continued Investment in Baltimore

Baltimore, MD (April 17, 2024) – CFG Bank (CFG), the largest bank headquartered in Baltimore, which provides flexible financing and online banking solutions to the national healthcare and multifamily markets and the Mid-Atlantic region, today announced the grand opening of its new headquarters at 2455 House Street in Baltimore Peninsula. The South Baltimore development, led by MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners, with investments from Under Armour founder Kevin Plank and his Sagamore Ventures investment firm, and Goldman Sachs Asset Management Urban Investment Group, welcomes CFG as its largest commercial tenant to-date. CFG’s space will also serve as the headquarters for the company’s subsidiaries and affiliates.

The new headquarters supports CFG’s recent and future growth. Featuring 97,000 square feet of office space on three floors, the headquarters, created in partnership with NewGround, was designed with CFG team members in mind. The space was intentionally created to inspire creativity, energy, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

The headquarters features various collaboration areas with a showcase employee lounge, a shared rooftop community space, a library area, full kitchens, an indoor sports simulator, and more. Throughout the space, there are many featured art installations, including full-wall murals, a curated art gallery spotlighting Baltimore artists, and more.

“We’ve reached great milestones over the past few years and the opening of our new headquarters is another exciting mark in CFG’s story. We are not a traditional company, and our new office is anything but a traditional office,” said CFG CEO Jack Dwyer. “Our goal is to maintain a culture where people feel that being part of the CFG family is the best decision of their career. The design of our new HQ was thoughtful and planned to foster our greatest asset – our team and their entrepreneurial spirit, our key differentiator. It’s an exciting time at CFG, and our new HQ is just the beginning. We can’t wait for all that is ahead.”

“We are proud to welcome CFG to the Baltimore Peninsula community and feel honored to be a part of the institution’s impressive growth and unwavering commitment to the city of Baltimore,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, Founder and CEO of MAG Partners. “CFG Bank makes a fantastic addition to the neighborhood and an excellent partner as Baltimore Peninsula continues to evolve.”

“CFG Bank has distinguished itself as an institution with an entrepreneurial approach and an ability to make change happen for the better,” said Greg Resh, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sagamore Ventures. “There’s an excitement CFG Bank has fueled at Baltimore Peninsula that you can feel from the moment you arrive. From waterfront residential options, dining destinations, and inspirational business headquarters, we are pleased to continue to offer our residents, the workers at Baltimore Peninsula, and visitors an eclectic mix of the best the city has to offer.”

In conjunction with the opening, CFG has expanded its robust employee benefits package to include employer-paid childcare and pet daycare. CFG has also partnered with Live Baltimore’s Live Near Your Work Program to make homeownership in Baltimore City more accessible for team members. Through the Program, eligible team members can receive up to $7,500 toward a down payment and closing costs for homes in and around Baltimore Peninsula. CFG employees have already utilized the Live Near Your Work Program and moved into Baltimore City.

This announcement follows an exciting year of growth and accomplishments for CFG, including the successful completion of a $160 million capital raise; being named one of the Best Places to Work by Baltimore Business Journal for the third consecutive year; the successful opening of CFG Bank Arena; the closing of over $2.0 billion in loans for its healthcare, multifamily, and commercial clients; and maintaining its position as the largest bank headquartered in Baltimore.

CFG’s office will also serve as headquarters for locally based, national nonprofit Dwyer Workforce Development. CFG CEO Jack Dwyer and his family founded Dwyer Workforce Development in 2021. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit is led by CEO Barb Clapp.

# # #

About CFG Bank 

CFG Bank, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, provides flexible financing and online banking solutions to the national healthcare and multifamily markets and the Mid-Atlantic region. CFG Bank is the 6th largest bank in the Baltimore area based on deposits and the largest that is based in Baltimore. CFG Bank has grown from $1 billion in assets at the end of 2019 to over $5 billion in assets at the end of 2023 and is among the five largest and most experienced healthcare bridge-to-HUD lenders in the country, serving its clients and helping them grow for over 30 years. CFG Bank transforms the banking experience by delivering big bank capabilities and expertise, coupled with relationship-driven boutique bank service. CFG Bank has branches in Lutherville and Baltimore City, and a cashless branch in Annapolis. For more information, visit www.CFG.bank, and follow CFG Bank on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and X.

About Baltimore Peninsula

Baltimore Peninsula is a 235-acre redevelopment project located on Baltimore City’s prime waterfront, featuring investments from Sagamore Ventures and the Urban Investment Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. As one of the largest urban revitalization efforts in the United States, Baltimore Peninsula will have a fundamental and far-reaching impact on Baltimore’s future. At completion, this transformative project will include: up to 14 million square feet of new, mixed-use development; 2.5 miles of restored waterfront; and 40 acres of parks and green space. The Baltimore Peninsula redevelopment is expected to generate fresh opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for Baltimore City residents and its local workforce. For more information on Baltimore Peninsula, visit baltimorepeninsula.com or visit on Instagram, Facebook and X.

Media Contact:

Carson Denbow


(570) 490-0135

[email protected]

February 23, 2024
Thesis Driven

MaryAnne Gilmartin on the Future of NYC, Placemaking, and Her Latest Big Project – Episode Three of the Thesis Driven Leader Series

Visit the website for the video interview – https://www.thesisdriven.com/p/maryanne-gilmartin

In this episode, I speak with one of the preeminent real estate developers of our generation, MaryAnne Gilmartin. She’s known for building Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Atlantic Yards, and the New York Times building, to name a few. And she’s now expanding beyond New York City to develop the Baltimore Peninsula—a 177 acre project which includes 14 million square feet of new development and 40 acres of publicly accessible open space. You can listen here on Substack or:

In this interview, you’ll hear the exciting details of her emerging new development in Baltimore as well as why this project is an excellent model for urban spaces—from the details of the master plan to the urban geography to the role of placemaking to the motivations of each stakeholder. 

MaryAnne and Brad also discuss the current development environment in New York City. MaryAnne shares her thoughts about the policies and politics that have added headwinds to new housing construction and what the city and state need to do to dig out of the housing crisis. She also shares why she’s optimistic about the city and many New York politicians and why, ultimately, she’d still bet on NYC over any other city in the world.

This interview will be inspiring to any lovers of great real estate projects and development. MaryAnne has a wealth of insights on what it takes to thrive (and survive) as a developer and what key elements make a project valuable and promising. She has a palpable passion for cities and creativity and vision for the future of the built world.

—Brad Hargreaves

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