May 14, 2024

POWER 100 – #43 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
YIMBY

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

CFG BANK MOVES INTO NEW HEADQUARTERS IN BALTIMORE PENINSULA AS LARGEST COMMERCIAL TENANT TO DATE

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

Warschawski

(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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February 1, 2024
New York YIMBY

Foundations Underway At 300 East 50th Street In Midtown East, Manhattan

Foundations are underway at 300 East 50th Street, the site of 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.

Recent photographs show the reinforced concrete foundations in progress with the slab and perimeter walls already formed, and numerous bundles of rebar protruding throughout the plot at the locations of the core and columns. Based on the pace of work, construction could reach street level by the spring.

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

The rendering in the main photo depicts the northern corner of 300 East 50th Street showing a light gray brick envelope surrounding a grid of floor-to-ceiling windows. The structure rises uniformly to the first setback on the 16th floor, which is topped with landscaped terraces. Additional setbacks are located on the 18th floor, after which the building continues to the parapet and mechanical bulkhead lined with metal grilles. The property features 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 F 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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January 29, 2024
New York YIMBY

Foundations Underway For COOKFOX’s 335 Eighth Avenue In Chelsea, Manhattan

Foundations are underway at 335 Eighth Avenue, the site of a seven-story mixed-use building in Chelsea, Manhattan. Designed by COOKFOX Architects and developed by MAG Partners and Penn South aka Mutual Redevelopment Houses, Inc., with financing provided by global holding company Safanad, the structure will span around 200,000 square feet and yield 188 rental units in studio to two-bedroom layouts, as well as a 23,000-square-foot Lidl supermarket and additional ground-floor retail space. Thirty percent of the homes will be reserved for affordable housing. Urban Atelier Group is the general contractor for the property, which is located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and West 26th Street within the Penn South affordable housing cooperative, officially known as Mutual Redevelopment Houses.

Demolition had just finished at the time of our last update in early October, when the plot sat cleared and awaiting the start of excavation. Since then, crews have already created various sections of the new reinforced concrete foundations around the eastern corner while excavators continue to unearth the remainder of the rectangular parcel. The superstructure could likely start to rise above street level in late spring to early summer.

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

A new rendering has also been released showing the eastern elevation. The building is depicted with a red brick envelope, a grid of recessed rectangular windows, and tall floor-to-ceiling windows for the retail frontage. The residential entrance sits beneath a canopy topped with shrubbery along Eighth Avenue, and dark metal railings line the expansive rooftop terrace.

Photo by Michael Young

The Lidl supermarket will feature a bakery, fresh produce, a floral shop, meat and seafood, and other typical everyday essentials. The store will be the German company’s second outpost in Manhattan following a Harlem location at 2187 Frederick Douglass Boulevard that opened in February 2022. YIMBY last reported that Lidl is expected to work with Hire NYC to offer employment to local residents and provide comprehensive benefits such as healthcare for all full- and part-time employees, regardless of hours worked per week.

Ninety percent of the units will be studios and one-bedrooms, and the remaining 10 percent will be two-bedroom apartments. Residential amenities at 335 Eighth Avenue will include a fitness center, library, media lounge, coworking lounge with private workspaces, a dining area with a catering kitchen, and rooftop gardens with dining areas and a grilling terrace.

In recent news, JLL Capital Markets arranged a $151.4 million capitalization for the project with financing secured from Bank OZK and MetLife Investment Management. The property is a short walk from the local C and E trains at the 23rd Street station to the south.

335 Eighth Avenue’s anticipated completion date is slated for the third quarter of 2025.



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January 16, 2024
Baltimore Sun

A moment for Baltimore | GUEST COMMENTARY

Sunrise lights up the city skyline on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Photo by Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore is having a moment. The positive headlines have been everywhere the past few months, brimming with superlatives. Just last week, The New York Times placed Baltimore among its top 15 places to visit in 2024 and said the city is having an “enormous year.” Baltimore has one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. We just saw the largest drop in homicides ever. The region has been designated a federal tech hub, and the area is increasingly becoming a destination for visitors from far and wide — with CFG Bank Arena ranking as one of the highest-grossing venues globally last year.

As a result — or maybe it’s the cause — companies and institutions, private and public, are investing here again. The Ravens and the Orioles both made big commitments over the past few months (and won a lot of games), and CFG Bank Arena’s investments have helped attract the best acts in the country. Planning for the new Red Line is underway, Bloomberg Philanthropies is helping to tackle our vacant homes challenge with Mayor Scott, and our port has millions of dollars coming from the Department of Transportation down the road in D.C.

But as a newcomer to Charm City, I’ve also noticed that we’ve been conditioned to always expect the other shoe to drop. The good news about the city’s economic growth was immediately followed by a headline (in another publication) about how the growth is probably not sustainable. Give us at least a day to be inspired and optimistic about where things are headed.

When a foolish comedian took cheap shots at Baltimore last year, it was beautiful to see so many people rally together to stand up for the city, but the truth is that we’re too used to just grinning and bearing it, too tired of pushing back. As someone who spends much of her time pitching companies around the country on Baltimore as a potential home, I get it. But I also know that there’s too much good happening here to let negativity prevail. It’s time that we stand together to tell our story and finally change the narrative about the city we love.

Where do we start? Last year, the city’s economy grew to more than $50 billion. With nearly 6% growth, Baltimore beat out nearly every other similarly sized major city nationwide. Citywide, we’re seeing robust, rapid economic growth and a low unemployment rate of just 4.3%. Coupled with inspiring progress on the tragic homicide crisis, Baltimore is signaling that it’s on the brink of real change.

This was far from inevitable. Just look down I-95 to D.C., where hybrid work hollowed out the downtown and sent crime spiraling. Our sports teams are investing; theirs are planning to leave.

Leaders who care about Baltimore in Annapolis and Washington have helped a lot, too, and that is an important part of our story moving forward. In addition to DOT’s massive commitment to the Port of Baltimore, the new federal designation as a “tech hub” has made Baltimore a finalist for billions of dollars in economic development funding, while Johns Hopkins aims to make the city an epicenter for AI research. Our new governor has made Baltimore a top priority, and our mayor has partnered with faith and business leaders to announce a $3 billion plan to invest in 35,700 vacant homes. This monumental effort will bring funding to under-resourced communities that have suffered from disinvestment for far too long.

The last piece, and the one I’m most focused on, is attracting new businesses (and office leases) back to Baltimore. There too we are seeing very promising progress.  Along the Inner Harbor, the new Harborplace development proposal is a major investment in downtown. To its east, Harbor Point is seeing a slew of new tenants and businesses setting up shop. Across the city, we’re all working towards the same goal: a stronger Baltimore.

And at Baltimore Peninsula, we closed the year by announcing 15 new office and retail leases totaling over 65,000 square feet, building on CFG Bank’s historic flagship lease signed to support its expansion last year. They’ll be right across from the new Under Armour HQ, and when that campus opens later this year, it will be a milestone that all of Baltimore should celebrate.

It’s not just large corporations; all across the city, we’re seeing small businesses open in droves and trendy retailers from across the country set up shop. Hip chains like renowned restaurateur Pinky Cole’s Slutty Vegan, regional favorites like Clyde’s and large national retailers are no longer skipping Baltimore as they expand up the Northeast corridor. If you follow the money, it’s clear that Baltimore’s comeback is well underway.

We need to recognize the greatness of Baltimore and the success that we’re seeing each and every day. The city has so much going for it — incredible people, a thriving culture, a location that can’t be beat, and a relentless attitude of resilience and determination. With a robust and diverse economy, high-paying jobs and the support of state and local lawmakers, Baltimore is poised to enter a new era of innovation and growth now more than ever.

This is the next chapter in Baltimore’s story, and it’s time for everyone to celebrate our wins and continue building toward a brighter future. When we all uplift each other, we all succeed.

MaryAnne Gilmartin ([email protected]) is the founder and chief executive officer of MAG Partners, a woman-owned urban real estate company currently developing Baltimore Peninsula in partnership with Sagamore Ventures and Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group. 



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January 9, 2024
New York Times

52 Places to Go in 2024 – Baltimore, Maryland

Explore urban waterways and an array of Native artwork

Arts, Revitalization

It’s an enormous year for Charm City. The 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is bringing in a new Justice Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center; the Baltimore Museum of Art is increasing the presence of Native artists with solo shows, thematic exhibitions and changes to displays and labels across the museum; and Baltimore Peninsula, a place for visitors and locals to shop, dine and play, will breathe new life into a long-neglected port area. For outdoor enthusiasts, a network of waterways called the Baltimore Blueway — open to kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and rowboats — will connect visitors throughout the waterfront to cultural, historic and natural sites. And movie buffs take note: The director John Waters will be in his hometown shooting a film based on his first novel, “Liarmouth.” — Daniel Scheffler



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