Sagamore Reveals Phasing and New Details for Port Covington at Final UDARP Presentation

| May 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

Sagamore Development first revealed its 266-acre Port Covington Master Plan to Baltimore City Planning Department’s Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) in January and have since been back five times to present additional details about sections of the development, the infrastructure, and the ecology. The project team includes Sagamore Development, Elkus Manfredi Architects, STV, Landworks Studio, and Biohabitats.  Yesterday, the team made its final presentation at UDARP, detailing changes made to the plan as a result of its work sessions with the panel and revealing the phasing of the 15-plus year project.

The plan includes Under Armour’s 50-acre, 3.9 million sq. ft. global headquarters; 1,500,000 sq. ft. of destination, attraction, entertainment and specialty retail; more than 7,500 residential units, including rental and for-sale properties at various price-points; 500,000 sq. ft. of “maker” and industrial/light manufacturing space; 200-plus hotel rooms; 1,500,000 sq. ft. of office space (in addition to the Under Armour Global Headquarters); and civic and cultural uses including 40-plus acres of public parks, a public waterfront, and other public facilities. Sagamore currently owns 161 acres of land in Port Covington, which it described as 85% of the private parcels in the area, from recent real estate acquisitions totaling $114 million.

Renderings Courtesy of Sagamore Development

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For transportation and infrastructure it is planning a Light Rail spur from Westport; redevelopment of Hanover St., McComas St., and Cromwell St.; I-95 on-ramp and off-ramp modifications; pedestrian/bike bridges from South Baltimore and Westport; bike share stations; three water taxi stops; and a site circulator that could be rail or bus. This plan will still need to be approved by the Baltimore City Council and Mayor.

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A criticism from Planning Director Thomas J. Stosur at a previous session was the lack of civic uses detailed in the plan. Addressing this, Sagamore revealed plans for a post office in the Penny Lane area of East Waterfront, a potential school at the northern section of West End near a proposed Light Rail station, a library by Founder’s Park, a fire station along Cromwell St. across from Locke Insulators Inc., and a paddock and cultural center at West Shore Park.

With plans presented for only multi-family housing units in past presentations, the panel also wanted to see townhomes worked into the plan. Sagamore presented several clusters of townhomes centered around courtyards near a new western extension of Cromwell St. The homes face the proposed West Shore Park in the West End District. David Mandfredi of Elkus Manfredi said that West End would be a quieter, family-friendly section of Port Covington. West Shore Park, situated along the Middle Branch, will include sports fields designed by Ripken Baseball.

Sagamore also detailed the housing typologies, which along with townhomes, will include lofts, micro units, condos, and apartments. Sagamore has reached an affordable housing MOU with the city.

The districts of the development include West End, Hanover Street, Cromwell Street, Founders Park, East End, and East Waterfront. Manfredi noted that East Waterfront would have the most retail and attractions describing it as the “middle of the action,” and that Founders Park would also be quieter with taller buildings and more home ownership. Port Covington also includes a campus for Locke, which Sagamore does not own, and the Under Armour campus will be developed by Under Armour itself. Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank is a Sagamore Development partner.

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Manfredi detailed the phases of the development which is expected to take more than 15 years to complete. Phase 1 is already underway and includes the completed City Garage, Nick’s Fish House, the under-construction Sagamore Spirit distillery, and a new bike bath connecting the South Baltimore neighborhood to Port Covington through West End. East Waterfront Park is also expected to begin construction this year.

Phase 2 will include East Waterfront and Phase 3 will include Hanover Street, Cromwell Street, a Light Rail spur, and modifications to I-95 and McComas St. Phase 4 will include West End and Phase 5 will include East End and Founders Park.

The next phase of Under Armour’s campus is expected to begin in 2017.

Caroline Paff noted that the pace of the development would depend on the real estate market, noting they do not want to “cannibalize the market” with too much new inventory.

The meeting ended with UDARP panelists praising the Sagamore team for working together on the vision of the project. “Thank you,” said panelist David Rubin. “You worked with us on a common vision with all aspects of a well-designed neighborhood included.”

Sagamore Development President Marc Weller released the following statement, “We are extremely grateful for the thoughtful and constructive input provided by UDARP throughout the review process. We are excited to move the plan to the next step with the Planning Commission on June 2, one step closer to creating tens of thousands of jobs and a thriving, inclusive community and economic center at Port Covington.

The Master Plan will be presented again with public testimony on June 2nd at 230pm. From the Planning Department:

Please be aware that for this item, testimony will be taken for the Port Covington Master Plan only, not other items/future actions related to the Port Covington Redevelopment Project.

The plan will then move towards final Planning Department approval.

After approval of the Master Plan, Sagamore is hoping to obtain zoning approval in Quarter 2 of 2016 and approval of subdivision of the real estate and the infrastructure plan in Quarter 4 of 2016. Sagamore Development President Marc Weller said he hopes infrastructure improvements start in mid-2017, pad site development begins in mid-2018, and vertical real estate development begins in mid-2019.

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