Formerly abandoned industrial zones and historic buildings are getting new life as a wave of new development and innovative reuse sweeps across Baltimore. Industrial sites are being transformed into towering office buildings or massive warehouses that are set to create thousands of new jobs. Historic mill buildings are being caringly restored and bustling with commercial and residential activity. Storied public markets are being modernized and restored to former glory.
This wave of new development is generating tremendous excitement among Baltimore natives and visitors alike, making our city the perfect venue to inspire your meeting attendees.
Global athletic powerhouse Under Armour is one of Baltimore’s most compelling economic success stories. Now, founder Kevin Plank is giving back to his adopted city through one of the largest urban renewal efforts in America: the redevelopment of Port Covington. This 25-year project will include up to 18 million square feet of new, mixed-use development; 2.5 miles of restored waterfront; and 40 acres of parks and green space. Already open are the City Garage innovation center, The Foundery makerspace, Rye Street Tavern, pop-up restaurant South Point and Sagamore Spirit distillery. Port Covington is also set to become a hub for cybersecurity companies, with industry players DataTribe, Evergreen Advisers and AllegisCyber planning to move into the development by 2021 and focus on attracting additional cyber talent.
Harbor Point sits between Harbor East and historic Fell’s Point, on a formerly industrial waterfront site. Harbor Point is anchored by the new, $270-million Exelon Baltimore headquarters, a 20-story LEED Gold building that houses 1,500 employees of this Fortune 100 energy company. A 17-story luxury apartment building, 1405 Point, opened at Harbor Point in 2018, and when completed, the neighborhood will also feature the 220,000-square-foot Canopy by Hilton hotel. Retail already in place at Harbor Point includes raw foods café Plantbar and seasonal beach bar Sandlot, developed by James Beard Award winner Spike Gjerde.
Once a massive Bethlehem Steel plant, Tradepoint Atlantic is fast transforming into a 3,100-acre international trade and transportation hub. A study by the Sage Policy Group estimates that Tradepoint will create 17,000 new jobs during the next decade and generate close to $2 billion in direct economic activity from businesses operating at the site. With a deep-water port, links to major railroads, interstate highway access and ample land for automobile cargo parking, warehouses and distribution facilities, Tradepoint Atlantic promises to be a massive economic engine for the city. It is already home to several of the world’s leading companies, including Under Armour, Harley-Davidson FedEx and Amazon. Most recently, Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens announced plans to open a 100,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse at the site.
RECLAIMING HISTORIC SPACES
A vacant factory in the Medfield neighborhood completed a stunning transformation in 2018 with the opening of Union Collective, an assembly of Baltimore-based manufacturing and creative businesses anchored by Union Craft Brewing. The brewery’s 7,500-square-foot tap room is joined by a climbing gym and businesses producing ice cream, hot sauce, coffee and whiskey.
Baltimore’s historic markets have long been an essential part of the community they serve, dating back to 1782 when Lexington Market was opened downtown (making it one of the oldest in the country). High-profile developers are dedicated to preserving the legacy of these markets while introducing them to a new era. Lexington, Federal Hill’s Cross Street Market, Fell’s Point’s Broadway Market and West Baltimore’s Hollins Market are all in various stages of renovation that will provide much needed updates and room for new offerings. In Broadway Market, for example, a major local restaurant group and a longstanding crab house have teamed up to create a modern seafood restaurant with an outdoor courtyard called The Choptank.
Jones Falls Mills
Once-vacant, historic mill buildings in the Woodberry neighborhood have been transformed into mixed-use complexes with luxury apartments, commercial space and restaurants. Mill No. 1’s authentic Sicilian spot Cosima is famous for its outdoor patio, which provides scenic views of the Jones Falls. Clipper Mill is home to Woodberry Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant that has gained plaudits from Bon Appetit and The New York Times. It also houses several artist workspaces and galleries. Newcomer Whitehall Mill is being developed into a marketplace, offices, apartments and a new restaurant. True Chesapeake Oyster House is a collaboration of two local oyster purveyors and chef Zack Mills, formerly of Michael Mina’s Wit & Wisdom.