Officials break ground on latest phase of Port Covington development
Bryna Zumer, WBFF Online (FOX)
Officials and community leaders broke ground today on the latest phase of South Baltimore's Port Covington project, which promises to bring 1.1 million square feet of new development, including 89 affordable-housing units.
This latest phase is called 1B and will feature vertical construction, according to a press release.
When fully development, the project is expected to bring 18 million square feet of mixed-use development to Baltimore City and 2.5 miles of restored waterfront.
Port Covington lead investor Kevin Plank noted some controversy surrounding the project by quoting New Psalmist Baptist Church's Bishop Walter Thomas - "my dear friend and mentor" - who said: "Well, one thing we're gonna have to do is to outrun all the haters."
Plank said the development can also help young entrepreneurs succeed, creating "a new class of wealth."
"Our city leadership was bold to take this on, and we will prove they were right to do so," he said. "It's what this project can do for our city, to outrun the haters and be the example of what private-public partnership can do to kickstart an American city... Our city, Baltimore, has the opportunity to lead."
He also said: "This does not represent just one group against another, nor does it represent one neighborhood gaining while another neighborhood loses."
The development's new phase will also include 440,000 square feet of office space, 586,000 square feet of residential space, 89 affordable-housing units, 81 extended-stay units, 116,000 square feet of retail, more than 1,000 parking spaces, and 10 acres of parks and public space.
Gov. Larry Hogan called the project "a big deal, not just for South Baltimore, not just for the city, but for the state of Maryland, all the jobs we're going to provide," he said. "I couldn't be more excited."
He thanked Plank for his "belief in Baltimore."
"A vibrant Maryland depends on a strong Baltimore City, and I think Port Covington is a shining example of the potential and the positive growth that the city of Baltimore needs," the governor said.
Hogan presented the project's developer with a citation during the ceremony.
Other speakers included:
- Margaret Anadu, Global Head of Sustainability and Impact for Asset Management, Chairwoman of the Urban Investment Group (UIG) and Co-Chair of the Asset Management Sustainability Council, Goldman Sachs
- Eric Costello, Councilmember, Baltimore City’s 11th District
- Mike Middleton, Chairman, SB7 Coalition
- Marc Weller, Founding Partner & President, Weller Development Company
- Melvin A. Wilson, Co-Director, Turnaround Tuesday
- Anthony Brown, U.S. Representative, Maryland’s 4th Congressional District
- Ben Cardin, U.S. Senator, Maryland
- Jeff Cherry, Founder & Executive Director, Conscious Venture Partners
- Bill Ferguson, President of the Maryland Senate
- Adrienne Jones, House Speaker, Maryland House of Delegates
- John Sarbanes, U.S. Representative, Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District
- Secretary Kelly Schulz, Maryland Department of Commerce