November 15, 2022
Bisnow

Port Covington Team Rebrands Project ‘Baltimore Peninsula,’ Inks New Partnership

An aerial rendering of the development that the team has rebranded as Baltimore Peninsula.

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.

Bisnow/Adam Bednar
MAG Partners CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin speaks at Bisnow’s Baltimore State of Market event at Port Covington Sept. 22, 2022.

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]



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November 15, 2022
The Baltimore Banner

Port Covington has a new name: Baltimore Peninsula

The developers of Port Covington have announced a new name for the 235-acre project: Baltimore Peninsula. (Paul Newson/The Baltimore Banner)

Starting Tuesday, Port Covington, the 235-acre waterfront development in South Baltimore, will go by a new name: Baltimore Peninsula.

The change, made public this week, is an attempt by new developers at the New York-based MAG Partners and the San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners to turn a page on a contentious project that has faced delays, turnover and public criticism, particularly for its heavy reliance on subsidies at the expense of Baltimore’s other needs. Supporters of the effort argue that the finished product will add jobs, stimulate economic growth, and attract visitors and more residents to Baltimore.

MAG Partners CEO and founder MaryAnne Gilmartin and her team also have revised the project’s master plan and expect the final layout of the project to look different from what developers pitched in 2016. For example, they want to stretch the original Founders Park into a linear, diagonal “green artery” that connects the center of the new neighborhood and waterfront with the rest of the city. They also want to better connect to the rest of South Baltimore and Interstate 95 and have proposed adding a “connection” above the CSX tracks at Hanover and McComas Streets.

Gilmartin, in a Monday interview, said the change in name reflects a shift from “a place on a map” to a living, breathing community. She described Baltimore Peninsula’s vision as inclusive, mission-oriented and dynamic.

“All our actions need to reflect that vision,” she said.

Victor MacFarlane, chairman and CEO of MacFarlane Partners, added: “We’re here because we believe in Baltimore’s growth.”

Gilmartin and MacFarlane highlighted their commitment to minority and women business participation in the development as well as affordable housing; the first two residential buildings — to be called Rye House and 250 Mission, with more than 400 units between them — are expected to open this March and will have 20% of the units below market rate, they said. On Monday, they also announced a partnership with Sweeten, a software company that publicly tracks their minority- and women-owned business participation goals.

Attached to one of the largest public subsidies in the country, the $5.5 billion, multi-phase waterfront development in South Baltimore spans more than 200 acres and will feature three direct access points to I-95. Under Armour founder and Executive Chairman Kevin Plank and those affiliated with his Sagamore Ventures development firm spent more than $100 million since they began buying up Port Covington land about a decade ago.

A current goal is to build the once-dominant apparel company a new corporate headquarters surrounded by a “mini-city” akin to the existing Harbor East and Harbor Point sites.

The Baltimore City Council approved the city’s largest tax increment financing deal — $660 million — in 2016 to help fund the project. The project has also qualified for federal Enterprise Zone tax breaks.

Since then, Under Armour’s corporate image has soured amid company scandals, high-profile departures and declining sales, forcing the company to tone down its plans for the new offices. Meanwhile, several iterations of plans for what Port Covington could become — including a hub for technology companies called Cyber Town USA — have not come to pass.

Gilmartin, though, told The Baltimore Banner in an interview earlier this month that the project will be successful, so long as it rebrands and commits to sharing a more positive story.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the City will continue to benefit from the momentum and energy that has resulted from the creation of this new waterfront neighborhood,” Plank said in a Tuesday statement. “The impact is undeniable.”

[email protected]



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November 15, 2022
Baltimore Business Journal

Port Covington gets new name, rebranding amid leasing push

Farewell Port Covington. Meet “Baltimore Peninsula”.

The new name is part of a glossy rebrand for the area south of Federal Hill, which a development team led by Under Armour Inc. founder Kevin Plank envisions as a new, mini-city on the Middle Branch.

“It will be impactful, inclusive and equitable,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, another partner in the project and principal of New York-based MAG Partners. “The new name is clear, it has a narrative and is authentic and easy to understand. It delivers on the aspiration.”

The rebrand is the latest for the site that has also been known as Cyber Town USA and was once touted by Plank and top city and state officials as the best location for Amazon’s HQ2.

The nearly eight-year-old project is nearing completion of its $650 million first phase this month that will hold 1.1 million square feet of office, residential and retail space — with more building soon to follow in 2023, Gilmartin pledged on Monday. She took over the project as master developer in May as Weller Development was jettisoned from the gig by Plank’s Sagamore Ventures.

More construction could be next. Gilmartin said planning for another office and residential tower could begin in 2023 and be fueled by the sale of another tranche of tax increment financing bonds as part of a record $660 million TIF deal approved by the city in September 2016.

Gilmartin added the project now will hold a large-scale, diagonally shaped park as part of its redrawn master plan that will result in a swath of green space that will extend to the waterfront from the busy ramp of Interstate 95 at the northern rim.

But for now, Gilmartin said she is focused on filling buildings in the $5.5 billion total redevelopment. So far, one tenant, Chambers Co., has signed a lease for 9,000 square feet and CFG Bank is negotiating for 100,000 square feet for its new headquarters in the seven-story 2455 Banner St. tower.

“We are focused on leasing, leasing, leasing,” Gilmartin said, during an interview Monday afternoon. “We plan to go far and wide and from one coast to another. We have a bold national strategy.”

Gilmartin and her partners, who also include Goldman Sachs and San Francisco-based McFarlane Partners, said they decided to reveal the new name Baltimore Peninsula about six weeks earlier than originally predicted. The move will help the development team and brokers from JLL and McDevitt Co. lease office and retail space, respectively.

The first retail tenants could be announced during the first quarter of 2023, Gilmartin said.

The rebranding effort will include a new storyline and narrative and a website that will focus on the location on the Middle Branch waterfront with its natural environment amid a series of modern new towers and retail. The Baltimore Peninsula rebrand was crafted by Ashley C. Cotton, a principal at MAG Partners, who is also based in New York.

The first office tenants are expected to move to the former Port Covington site in March alongside residential tenants as leasing gets underway on the 537 luxury apartment units now getting final touches. Gilmartin said 89 of those units will be affordable apartments and another 81 will be designated as “extended stay” dwellings.

“I believe there are only a handful of projects like it around the country today with its access, land mass and waterfront views,” she said.



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November 15, 2022
The Baltimore Sun

Port Covington renamed Baltimore Peninsula, ushering in new brand and new chapter

Port Covington, the once industrial South Baltimore waterfront that is being redeveloped, is getting a new name to go with its future as a place to live, work, shop and gather.

Starting Tuesday, the massive project south of Interstate 95 will be called Baltimore Peninsula.

The name change, announced Tuesday morning by developers, is the most visible part of a rebranding by a newly installed development team and aims to focus on the area’s future instead of its past.

“We find ourselves at a moment in time, a moment in time where we can think big and carry on the momentum and be all in,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, founder and CEO of New York-based MAG Partners, which along with San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners, took over in May as lead developer and investors with owners Sagamore Ventures and Goldman Sachs.

“It’s not a project. It’s a place,” Gilmartin said. “It’s a neighborhood. It’s a home. It’s a headquarters. So it’s time to call the project what we want it to be forever.”

This is a newly released rendering for Port Covington, which is being rebranded as Baltimore Peninsula. Story embargoed until 6:30AM on 11/15/2022
This is a newly released rendering for Port Covington, which is being rebranded as Baltimore Peninsula.  (DBOX)

Developers wanted to re-direct thinking about the project with a “powerful” brand that would be clear, authentic, easily recognizable and that “conveys the character and personality of what it represents,” Gilmartin said.

She added that the site is more of a peninsula than a port and that developers believe in Baltimore as a brand, especially in marketing outside the city.

“That’s what we’re pitching,” she said. “We think Baltimore is amazing.

Baltimore Peninsula was chosen from about 50 names, including the current name, over about six months, with the help of consultants and project owners including Under Armour founder Kevin Plank.

Developers, said they hope all of the Port Covington neighborhood, of which they own about 80% of the real estate, will embrace the new name. Other developers are operating separately in Port Covington, some building homes while Under Armour is building a global headquarters on 50 acres owned by the company.

The rebranding comes at a time when the project’s first five buildings are nearing completion, including two office buildings and three residential buildings, with the the first office tenants and apartment residents to start moving in early next year. The 1.1 million square feet of offices, apartments, a hotel, retail and parks is the $500 million first phase of a project eventually planned to hold 14 million square feet on 235 acres.

“Baltimore is an incredibly special place to me — it is home — and it is rewarding to see the culmination of all the great work that has been done to-date,” said Plank, principal and CEO of Sagamore Ventures, in Tuesday’s announcement.

An official grand opening for Baltimore Peninsula is being planned for next September.

Gilmartin said developers are working on finalizing leases with two tenants for the office building on the newly named House Street by the first quarter of next year, which would fully occupy the building. One of those tenants is expected to be CFG Bank. A second office building will house Rye Street Market, and H. Chambers Co., an architecture and interior design firm, will move into 9,000 square feet in that building in March.

“The philosophy for the commercial space is not to cannibalize the Inner Harbor and to move tenants around Baltimore but to go wider on a national strategy,” Gilmartin said.

The five buildings under construction in Port Covington, which is being renamed Baltimore Peninsula, are shown in this file photo. They are the first phase of a larger redevelopment of the area.
The five buildings under construction in Port Covington, which is being renamed Baltimore Peninsula, are shown in this file photo. They are the first phase of a larger redevelopment of the area. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

The first phase also includes 250 Mission, a 162-unit apartment building, and Rye House, a 254-unit apartment building, a 121-unit residential building with an extended-stay hotel, a parking garage and a park. Leasing for the apartments will start in the first quarter and the first residents are expected to move in by March.

Sagamore’s Port Covington project has sprouted alongside its earlier developments, Rye Street Tavern and Sagamore Spirit Distillery. The Baltimore Sun leases its office in the Port Covington development.

Developers hope to announce the start of another office building next year, with a company headquarters type of tenant in place, and another apartment building, Gilmartin said.

“Obviously with the headwinds in the economy, it remains to be seen if we can do that,” she said, though “the residential market is quite robust in Baltimore.”



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October 29, 2022
New York YIMBY

241 West 28th Street’s Brick Façade Nears Completion In Chelsea, Manhattan

Façade work nears completion on 241 West 28th Street, a pair of 22-story residential buildings in Chelsea, Manhattan. Designed by COOKFOX and developed by MAG Partners, Atalaya, Safanad, and Qualitas, the 400,000-square-foot complex is aiming for LEED Silver certification and will yield 480 units with 30 percent reserved for low- and middle-income households, as well as 8,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Urban Atelier Group is the general contractor for the property, which is located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues with frontage on both West 28th and 29th Streets.

At the time of our last update in May, the red brick façade had reached up to the height of the setbacks on the 28th and 29th Street elevations. Since then, crews from King Contracting Group laid the remainder of the 100,000 square feet of brick, supplied by Belden Tristate Building Materials, at a pace of one floor every two and a half days. The eastern side of the building has been enclosed in its EIFS envelope, and metal railings have begun to be installed at the base of some of the windows, with clips in place at their tops to hold a decorative paneling.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

Scaffolding rigs hang from both the northern and southern sides of 241 West 28th Street as workers continue to finish up the exterior. The construction elevator remains attached to the West 28th Street elevation.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

The towers on the western end of the building are awaiting their EIFS enclosure. Densglass sheathing insulation boards and the edges of each floor plate remain exposed for now.

241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young
241 West 28th Street. Photo by Michael Young

Residential amenities include multiple indoor lounges, a fitness center, a children’s playroom, and an outdoor lounge with a swimming pool and adjoining terrace.

YIMBY last reported that 241 West 28th Street is slated for completion in July 2023.



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September 22, 2022
Bisnow

Port Covington Developer Names Office Tenant, Says Rebrand Ahead

The massive Port Covington development in Baltimore has inked its first lease, and developer MAG Partners plans to unveil a rebrand and updated master plan later this year, CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin said Thursday morning.

The H. Chambers Co., a 123-year-old interior design business currently headquartered in the Montgomery Park development in southwest Baltimore, signed a 9K SF lease at the Port Covington building dubbed E-7, Gilmartin said. 

“[It’s] an amazing company that fell in love with the ingenuity, the possibilities, and the actual quality of the buildings we’re in. So, I just want you to know that the leasing has begun, and they are our first signed lease,” Gilmartin said. 

Gilmartin announced the deal during Bisnow’s Baltimore State of the Market event on Thursday at 2455 Banner St. in Port Covington. Speaking to reporters after her remarks, Gilmartin said she expects to announce more significant leases by the fourth quarter of this year.  

Last month, news outlets published articles questioning the pace of leasing at the development and probed whether the lack of deals was a sign the project was struggling. 

The Baltimore Banner, citing anonymous sources, reported Wednesday that CFG Bank told its employees the financial institution planned to relocate its offices from Baltimore County to Port Covington. 

Gilmartin said she could not confirm or deny CFG Bank as a future tenant. No deal is done until the ink is dry on a lease, she said.   

Gilmartin also said her firm, which took over as the project’s master developer in May, plans to unveil a new master plan and a rebranding for the development later this year. 

“We’re doing a complete rebrand. A year from now we won’t be calling it Port Covington. We’re going to unveil a new name for the project at the end of this year,” she said. “We just need traction, right? Because the buildings are there.”   

There are five buildings under construction on the site as part of the $550M first phase of construction. Initial plans from Weller Development, the original master developer, called for 14M SF of retail, office and residential space off Interstate 95 on 235 acres covering the city’s southern peninsula. 

Under Armour, whose founder, Kevin Plank, initially financed the Port Covington redevelopment, is constructing the athletic brand’s new global headquarters next to Port Covington.  

Developer Mark Sapperstein also closed this week on the Locke Insulators building on the peninsula, Gilmartin said. Sapperstein’s firm, 28 Walker Development, has developed some of Baltimore’s most successful retail projects, such as The Shops at Canton Crossing and McHenry Row

However, another major property on the peninsula is heading toward vacancy. The Baltimore Sun isn’t renewing its lease at 300 East Cromwell St. and is in the process of moving operations out of the building, according to Gilmartin. 

The roughly 500K SF industrial building served for decades as the home of the newspaper’s printing operations before The Sun outsourced printing of the paper earlier this year. Since 2018, the property has also served as the newspaper’s main office after its former owner sold The Sun’s Calvert Street offices downtown.  



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September 22, 2022
Baltimore Business Journal

Design firm Chambers Co. signs lease to move offices to Port Covington

Baltimore interior design and architectural firm Chambers Co. on Thursday signed the first office lease at Port Covington and the new owner of the large-scale development says other tenants are on the way.

Chambers will move from Montgomery Park into 9,000 square feet at the new Rye Street Market mixed-use development early next year under a 10-year lease deal, said MaryAnne Gilmartin, CEO of MAG Partners, which bought into the $5.5 billion project this spring and is the new master developer.

Chambers officials were unavailable for comment on Thursday afternoon. The company is the second-largest interior design firm in the region with nearly $95 million in 2021 billings and 14 interior designers in the Baltimore area as of August, according to BBJ research.

Gilmartin announced the lease deal during a Bisnow real estate forum as the first signed at Port Covington. The news drew a round of applause from the about 200 brokers and developers who had gathered on the fourth floor of 2455 Banner St., an office tower still in the works.

Chambers soon may have company at the emerging development in South Baltimore.

CFG Bank officials said Wednesday they were in final negotiations to sign a lease for 100,000 square feet of office space at Port Covington. Gilmartin declined to comment on that deal but did say JLL brokers hired by MAG and its partner McFarlane Partners were busy with ongoing lease negotiations this month.

The Chambers deal was signed on Thursday morning, Gilmartin said. She added that the 123-year-old firm will begin to build out its office space next month and move in by January.

“The leasing has begun,” Gilmartin said. “This is the first lease.”

Of the push to lasso other new office and commercial tenants for Port Covington’s first group of office buildings that total 1.1 million square feet, Gilmartin told the group: “Our money is green. Bring us a pulse and we’ll make a deal.”

Weller Development exited the massive project in May as New York-based MAG Partners and San Francisco-based McFarlane Partners struck a deal with Under Armour (NYSE: UAA) founder Kevin Plank to take over.

Plank is the lead visionary for Port Covington and he secretly acquired more than 200 acres there nearly a decade ago for the project. He unveiled plans for the development about eight years ago with designs that have since been scaled back and recreated. Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group is also an investor.

Today, the master plan for the project states it could hold up to 14 million square feet of mixed-use development on 45 new city blocks.



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July 21, 2022
Baltimore Sun

Port Covington developers announce $2.5 million in grants to South Baltimore community groups

Developers of the Port Covington waterfront community in South Baltimore have provided $2.5 million in grants and other funds to help revitalize neighborhoods near the site where offices, shops and apartments are under construction.

The distribution over the past year was announced Thursday morning and marks the latest round of investments through a Community Benefits Agreement between the developers and neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Cherry Hill, Curtis Bay, Lakeland, Mount Winans and Westport.The funds are designed to boost economic development, education and transportation.

The mix of macrogrants, microgrants and capacity-building funds from developers MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners were selected and distributed by the South Baltimore 7 Coalition, made up of neighborhood representatives. The developers, each of which has worked on high-profile urban projects in major U.S. cities, joined Sagamore Ventures’ development efforts in May and will lead the next phase.

Five buildings have neared completion on the 235-acre site along Cromwell Street south of Interstate 95 that is planned for up to 14 million square feet of shops, restaurants, office space and housing, plus 40 acres of parks, across 45 new city blocks. The Baltimore Sun leases its office in the Port Covington development.

Funds for nearby neighborhoods include $815,000 in macrogrants to 12 organizations, $262,000 in microgrants to 25 organizations, and $250,000 to each of the six surrounding communities, totaling $1.5 million.

MaryAnne Gilmartin, founder and CEO of MAG Partners, said in Thursday’s announcement that the funds will help community groups provide services across South Baltimore.

“Port Covington has been designed to uplift our neighboring communities — and all of Baltimore,” Gilmartin said.

Victor MacFarlane, chairman and CEO of MacFarlane Partners, said his company has been working to empower underserved communities in its many development projects on the East and West coasts.

A $125,000 grant went to the South Baltimore Community Land Trust and the Cherry Hill Development Corp. to develop 15 new or renovated affordable homes in Cherry Hill and Curtis Bay for residents who earn 50% of median income, said Meleny Thomas, the land trust’s executive director.

“With development on the rise, we want to make sure we have homes that our residents can stay in and increase the homeowners in the community,” Thomas said.

She said she hopes the ongoing partnership with the South Baltimore 7 Coalition will help “thousands of people facing displacement in South Baltimore have an opportunity to stay.”

Community leaders in the coalition are working to enhance quality of life, prevent displacement of residents and attract new ones by improving education, housing, public health, public safety and economic development. The group’s board is made up of leaders from the six communities and members of the Port Covington development team.

The community coalition evaluated macrogrant proposals from community groups for initiatives that will have an impact in at least two neighborhoods. The board looked for ideas that would have potential to grow and attract partnerships.

Microgrants were awarded for smaller community projects that need operating or capital funds to develop or complete specific projects that benefit the community.

A grant of $170,000 went to City of Refuge Baltimore and two nonprofit partners to fund a workforce training and placement program for adults and youth, said Pastor Billy Humphrey, founder and CEO of Brooklyn-based City of Refuge. The partners, including Grow Home and Action Baybrook, have worked to create a database of employers and jobs in South Baltimore, train workers and assist with job placement.

“Our goal is to put people back to work,” said Humphrey, adding that the newly launched program has trained more than 111 adults and youth and placed 11 so far in living-wage jobs. The initiative, he said, hopes to “address systemic poverty by getting people back to work in full-time, living-wage jobs.”

Developers already have provided $19 million through the community benefits agreement to city and South Baltimore neighborhoods.

This article has been updated to clarify that while the Port Covington developers provided the funds, the grants were awarded by the South Baltimore 7 Coalition.



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June 12, 2022
BISNOW

PODCAST: MaryAnne Gilmartin On Gridlock, Entrepreneurship And Why Baltimore ‘Deserves A Future’

Bisnow’s audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunesSpotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

On this episode, MaryAnne Gilmartin, the founder and CEO of MAG Partners, sits down with Bisnow.

Her company is just over 2 years old, but Gilmartin has been a fixture on the New York City real estate scene for decades. Once the president and CEO of Forest City Ratner, her developments include Barclays Center and the New York Times Building on Eighth Avenue.

MAG Partners now has a roughly $1B development pipeline, including three residential projects spanning 1,000 units and a ground-up office development in Manhattan. Last month, the company announced it is taking over the Port Covington megaproject in South Baltimore, along with San Francisco’s MacFarlane Partners. The firms are joining the plan to build a mini-city launched by Sagamore Ventures, the development firm founded by Under Armour founder Kevin Plank.

On the podcast, she spoke about running her new firm, leading Mack-Cali as interim CEO, taking on the ambitious project in Baltimore — her first outside of New York City — and her concerns about political dysfunction and division in New York. 

“There’s no way to do anything big and bold without expecting some friction,” she says on the podcast. “It’s just getting harder and harder. There’s really more divisiveness in the country and city than I’ve ever seen … Maybe when gridlock occurs and nothing’s happening and the city is falling apart and people still want to be here and they love our city, then something will give, because something has to give.”

Contact Miriam Hall at [email protected]



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May 25, 2022
SouthBaltimore.com

AN INTERVIEW WITH NEW PORT COVINGTON DEVELOPER MARYANNE GILMARTIN OF MAG PARTNERS

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 will lead the development, as well as invest in the project.

SouthBMore.com spoke with MaryAnne Gilmartin, founder and CEO of MAG Partners, to learn more about what attracted her to the project and her vision for Port Covington.

Gilmartin told SouthBMore.com she met Plank in February 2021 through friend Jody Clark, who is the chief of real estate for Sagamore Ventures, and then started to look at the Port Covington project.

“My team started to look at it, made some recommendations, and somewhere along the way I fell in love with it,” she said. “There is no greater spokesperson for Baltimore I’ve come across than Kevin Plank.” 

“I think I can leverage Kevin to be an essential part of the project,” said Gilmartin. “The quid pro quo for me was that Kevin is involved.”

Gilmartin compared Plank’s dedication to Baltimore to the way Dan Gilbert has “lifted up” Detroit. Gilbert is the co-founder of Quicken Loans, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and founder of Rock Ventures, which is co-owner of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

After her interest grew in the Port Covington Development, Gilmartin called her friend Victor MacFarlane of MacFarlane Partners.

“He only works on things with purpose and only works in cities,” she said, noting how she told MacFarlane, “If I do it, I want to do it with someone like you.”

The two formed a partnership and then not only agreed to join the project, they invested in it as well.

Gilmartin said MacFarlane is “probably one of the largest Black developers in the country.”

Gilmartin started MAG Partners in 2020. She has worked on projects such as The New York Times building in Manhattan, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the 14-building Pacific Park Brooklyn mixed-use project. This is Gilmartin’s first project outside of the New York City metro area.

She said it’s “incredible what Weller Development has put in place.”

“We view Chapter 1B as proof of concept,” said Gilmartin. “Weller will finish up the construction and we will take over from there.”

She said she has been working closely with the leasing team that includes JLL, but noted “we need results.”

Gilmartin said there are “infinite possibilities” for Port Covington. She noted uses such as residential, entertainment, commercial, education, and hospitals, and said she sees a lot of possibilities for life sciences.

“When I think about Johns Hopkins and the unbelievable institutions in Baltimore, the compelling campaign is life sciences. Everyone wants it, there isn’t enough of it, and there is so much money backing it,” she said. 

“We shouldn’t be cannibalizing the CBD [Central Business District] and Inner Harbor, this project needs to be bigger than just moving companies around,” she added.

When asked about the idea of a new arena or soccer stadium for Port Covington, Gilmartin said, “I’m absolutely open to the opportunity and know what sports can do for a community.”

Gilmartin worked on the Barclays Center project that brought the Nets to Brooklyn.

She specifically noted that soccer comes up as “high possibility.” She added “very few other places amass the type of land needed for soccer” and that a team would “attract people from all parts of the city.”

When asked about the business climate in Baltimore and Maryland, which never rank high as the best places to do business, she noted her vast experience working in the New York market. “New York is downright hostile, we are challenged every day,” said Gilmartin.

She also said, however, “I have this love affair with New York. People want to be in New York for a reason – for the culture, the food, the people, the opportunity, and the spirit. If a place has a magic fairy dust, it counterbalances what’s not great.”

“I spend a lot of time in Brooklyn. Baltimore has the kind of grit and possibility Brooklyn has. I love the underdog status, ” said Gilmartin.

She said it wasn’t easy to lure companies to Brooklyn but said they were able to create a “sense of place” which led to the momentum Brooklyn is seeing now.

MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners will take over Weller Development’s office at City Garage in Port Covington which includes a “beautiful” leasing space, according to Weller Development.



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