The National Aquarium in Baltimore has sold its properties in Port Covington, disposing of the last remnants of a plan to build an animal care and rescue center in South Baltimore.
The nonprofit sold three properties — 2400 Clarkson St., 101 W. Cromwell St. and 2300 S. Cromwell St. — to Sagamore Development at the end of December.
The sales are no surprise. The Aquarium said in 2015 it was considering a deal and Sagamore told the city it had the parcels — which total about 11.3 acres — under contract when it requested public financing to build infrastructure in Port Covington.
The former aquarium properties, which Sagamore purchased for a combined $4.63 million, are slated to become part of a waterfront park under a master plan the city approved last year. They are not among the properties whose tax revenue would go toward paying off bonds the city plans to float for the infrastructure.
The aquarium did not respond to a request for comment immediately.
The land in question once belonged to the city, which sold about 20 acres in Port Covington to the aquarium in early 2007 for $250,000, according to land records.
The aquarium had plans for a $110 million redevelopment with an animal care and rescue center and embarked on an environmental clean-up that eventually led to West Covington park.
But the plans evolved. Soon after buying the Port Covington parcels, the aquarium sold one of the parcels, acquired from the city for $89,000, for $1.5 million to a development company associated with Patrick Turner. Turner did not do anything with the parcel, which is also now owned by Sagamore.
The aquarium shelved its more ambitious plans during the recession. The nonprofit said last year it would build a new animal rescue center in Jonestown.
Sagamore, a private real estate firm backed by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, wants to see Port Covington, which is located in South Baltimore south of Interstate-95, redeveloped with a new neighborhood and Under Armour campus.