Sagamore Rolls Out Plans for East Waterfront Park

| February 1, 2016 | 0 Comments

When Sagamore Development unveiled plans for the Sagamore Spirit distillery in 2015 it said the four-building complex would be designed to feel like part of a waterfront park. At last week’s City Planning Department’s Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) meeting, the development group introduced East Waterfront Park, an eight-acre park surrounding the complex at 301 E. Cromwell St. in Port Covington.

East Waterfront Park will be on the shoreline of the Patapsco River on a new section of Port Covington named East Waterfront as designated by Sagamore’s Master Plan. Along with Sagamore Spirit and the new park, this area will be highlighted by dining, retail, entertainment, and hospitality facilities. East Waterfront Park will be adjacent to the northeast of Under Armour’s new campus and world headquarters along a future man-made filtered lake.

“We wanted to think big and bold with East Waterfront Park. We wanted to make strong connection between its uses, the ecology, and how people would utilize it,” said Caroline Paff of Sagamore Development. Teaming on the park presentation with Sagamore was Addison Palmer of STV, Chris Streb of Biohabitats, and Micheal Blier of Landworks Studio.

Sagamore is looking reconnect to the industrial history of the site while improving the ecology and human performance. “This can be a catalyst for the restoration of the Middle Branch and we have the opportunity to pull in more ecology than what exists at the Inner Harbor,” said Streb.

The park will have several sections. A natural peninsula on the western end of the park will be called the eco peninsula. It will have the largest footprint off the water with 350 feet in depth. The peninsula will be used as a walkway and outdoor classroom with a living shoreline where they are hoping to create fish nursery structures. The topography will vary from 16 feet to three to four feet with all surfaces and plantings near the water durable enough to handle high tides.

An existing archaeological pier will be rebuilt, however it will keep the original concrete structure with the addition of newer more stable surfaces surrounding it. The team is proposing a water taxi stop on the pier and oyster infrastructure along the water.

Between the pier and Sagamore Spirit will be a section called Perches and Portals. A raised perch will overlook the lower section of the park and promenade.

The eastern section is called Linear Park. This area has the least amount of depth off the water at about 20 feet. The promenade will run along an existing concrete bulk head . The team noted they are hoping to improve the ecology in this section through ideas such a floating wetlands.

Sagamore is also working with the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts’s (BOPA) on a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a creative bench idea. “Baltimore has a great tradition of benches and we are looking for that next ‘great bench,'” said Paff. The benches would be used along the entire Port Covington promenade.

Sagamore also showed a concept of a retail structure just north of the park below Cromwell St. and to the west of Sagamore Spirit. Sagamore said the area would have on-street parking as well as parking opportunities north of Cromwell.

The UDARP panel raved about the design calling it exciting and beautiful and congratulating the team on a great job. “I haven’t heard this much positivity (at UDARP) in a while,” said panelist David Rubin.

The project was approved by UDARP and Paff told SouthBMore.com that elements related to the park, such as utilities, are under design now and will be installed starting this spring. The team is seeking a bulkhead permit from the City of Baltimore which it hopes to attain by the end of the year so the park can be fully constructed. It is also working on approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers and Maryland Department of the Environment.

Renderings courtesy of Sagamore Development

Park Systems

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Eco Peninsula Shoreline Habitat

Eco Peninsula Section

Archaeological Pier Section

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Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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