The developer of Harbor Point, a fast-growing project on the Inner Harbor, presented plans Thursday for the proposed T. Rowe Price Group offices and other parcels to a city design panel.
The designs depict a micro-community with offices, retail, residential and restaurant space tied together by a public plaza and green space, all with waterfront views.
Located on the site of a former chromium plant between Harbor East and Fells Point, Harbor Point already has become the location of choice for such companies as Constellation Energy, Exelon and Morgan Stanley. The Baltimore-based global investment firm T. Rowe Price announced plans this month to relocate its headquarters out of its East Pratt Street high-rise to a pair of new “green” office buildings a mile away in Harbor Point.
Harbor Point’s redevelopment comes as the city’s waterfront properties grow in popularity for both business and leisure, and as employers prepare to wrestle with the long-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges of luring employees back to in-person work environments.
T. Rowe Price’s future headquarters will occupy about 470,000 square feet in two low, connected buildings with 50,000 square feet of additional retail and amenity space and floor-to-ceiling windows, according to the proposals shown at the Urban Design and Architectural Advisory Panel meeting. The adjacent Point Park — referred to by designers as a “central park” of sorts — will span 4.5 acres. The investment firm will be the building’s sole tenant.
Michael Beatty, the developer shepherding Harbor Point to fruition, said the porous buildings will embrace an “elegant and timeless” design that visitors and non-tenants will embrace.
“You’ll feel like you’re meant to be there,” Beatty said.
Beatty presented the plans for T. Rowe Price’s headquarters along with Jeffrey Kenoff, a principal architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Richard Jones, the CEO of iO Studio. Its construction could start as early as the first quarter of 2022 and finish by 2024.
Kenoff said he incorporated ideas from other cities, such as New York, into Harbor Point’s design, including the public parks and a plaza. He said he hoped to honor Baltimore’s rich industrial and urban history by incorporating open access between the parks and the buildings and fomenting a culture of “work and play.”
“What we don’t want to do is glass towers that slam into the ground plane,” Kenoff said. “A building that had a big sense of humility was the goal.”
The facility will include parking, a rooftop terrace and will “float” above the ground, Kenoff said.
All of Harbor Point’s buildings will be of varying heights to preserve the city skyline from other points of view. Point Park eventually will displace Sandlot, a popular, but temporary waterfront bar and restaurant, which still plans to open for the 2021 spring season.
Osborne Anthony, a UDAAP panelist, said the team’s plan achieves a mix of urban scale, porosity and flow.
“You’re transforming it into something really wonderful,” Anthony said. “It tells a story about the history of Baltimore — not just its scale, but its character.”
Beatty and a separate team also presented updated plans for another Harbor Point parcel that eventually will include a hotel, event space, fitness center and luxury apartments. Located closer to Fells Point on the corner of Dock and Caroline streets, the parcel will have some 1,500 parking spaces, 500 residential units and about 10,000 square feet of retail space.