Chapter 1 of Infrastructure Improvements Outlined for Port Covington Development

| September 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Port Covington developer Sagamore Development Company has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for Chapter 1 of proposed infrastructure improvements for the South Baltimore project. The bids are due today and Sagamore expects to select a winning team by October 13th. That team will work alongside STV Incorporated.

Chapter 1 will focus on the “east side” of Sagamore’s $5.5-billion development on 235 acres in Port Covington, and will include new intersections and streets connecting with E. Cromwell St. The majority of the work will take place in the grass fields surrounding The Baltimore Sun printing facility. New streets will initially be named Blue Street, Grape Street, Magenta Street, Red Street, and White Street. Eight intersections with traffic and pedestrian signals are planned. A new block created from the infrastructure work will be the future home of a public plaza.

Current Site from Google Maps

From a rendering in Sagamore Development Company’s RFQ (click to enlarge)

Details from the RFQ:

Specific elements of design services for Chapter 1 that the successful bidder will provide include mass grading, roadway elements such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities and public site furnishings as illustrated in Exhibit 3, retaining walls, utilities, storm drain, stormwater management (SWM) and outfalls, lighting, traffic signals, maintenance of traffic, phasing and sequence of construction plans, erosion and sediment control (ESC), signing and pavement markings and landscaping.

The Consultant shall design utilities in accordance with the Developer’s objectives and utility master plan which include chilled water, sanitary sewer, water, electric, telecommunications and gas. Private utilities may consist of purple pipe, chilled water, fiber optic or other communications, steam and micro- grid. The Consultant will work with the Developer to determine the location of the private utilities within Chapter 1.

Construction is expected to begin on this infrastructure in 2018. The new infrastructure will pave the way for vertical development and new public spaces at Port Covington. Chapter 2 of infrastructure improvements is expected to begin in 2021 or 2022, according to Caroline Paff of Sagamore Development. She noted that planning and design will continue without interruption for many years.

Sagamore has already announced the development team, Williams Associates, for a new intersection where Cromwell St., Insulator Dr., and a new, soon-to-be-constructed street – Purple St. – meet.  The rebuilt intersection will provide signalized crossing for expanded bike lanes along this section of Cromwell St. The intersection will also be altered to provide full signalized access for trucks and employee vehicles accessing The Baltimore Sun printing building via a new driveway that will tie in on the north side of the intersection. The design of the intersection rebuild started in August and is expected to be submitted to Baltimore City for approval by February 2018.

To pay for infrastructure, parks, and ecology improvements in Port Covington, Sagamore is spending $327,780,988 of its own money on infrastructure and will receive $534,795,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bonds from Baltimore City. Under Armour, which will have a 50-acrew campus in Port Covington, has pledged to not use any TIF proceeds for the infrastructure at its campus. Sagamore is also hoping to use those bonds to seek matching funds from state and federal sources in the amount of $573,683,000. The total infrastructure investment at the project would be $1,436,234,988.

Sagamore’s plan for Port Covington includes Under Armour’s 50-acre, 3.9 million sq. ft. global headquarters at the former Port Covington Shopping Center; 1,500,000 sq. ft. of destination, attraction, entertainment, and specialty retail; 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. It also includes more than 7,500 residential units, which could total up to 14,000 units comprised of rental and for-sale properties at various price-points, and potential sites for a post office, school, library, fire station, police paddock, and cultural center. The development includes 2.5 miles of waterfront along the Middle Branch.

Already completed at Port Covington is City Garage, a 133,000 sq. ft. former garage facility which is fully leased and described as “a hub for manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship;” Building 37, which converted the former Sam’s Club into a 170,000 sq. ft. Under Armour office building and amenity space; 240 W. Dickman St., which is undergoing renovations and will be the home of workforce development non-profits, including CityWide Youth Development and Potential ME; and, the four-building Sagamore Spirit whiskey distilleryPhase I of Under Armour’s new 50-acre campus is expected to be the next major construction project in Port Covington. 

Other public space improvements including landscaping, a new mural, and on-street bicycle lanes have also been completed. Construction is also currently underway on a bike path.

Sagamore recently partnered with Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group on a $233-million investment in the project. Sagamore is also planning to “aggressively pursue” Amazon’s proposed second headquarters (HQ2). Maryland Governor Larry Hogan recently pledged his support for Port Covington as the best Maryland site for HQ2 and held a meeting with Amazon officials.

Master Plan Rendering courtesy of Sagamore Development  (click to enlarge)

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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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