Developer of Port Covington continues to refine designs for market, offices, apartments, shops

Developers of the proposed $5.5 billion Port Covington project in South Baltimore continue to refine their plans for the first three buildings, which are expected to break ground by year’s end.

The buildings include:


« The Rye Street Market, which will include loft-style offices, meeting space, a rooftop event space and ground-level shops and restaurants. It also will feature an open-air market and food hall that developers say is inspired by Baltimore’s neighborhood markets.

« A second building that will be a seven-story mixed-use office complex with ground-floor retail and rooftop space.

« A third building that will include 150 to 158 apartments, ground-floor shops and possibly a grocery store, which developers say will depend on demand. It will also include 1,100-1,400 parking spaces in a garage.

Weller Development, which is overseeing the project for owners Sagamore Development and New York investment bank Goldman Sachs, is seeking approval for its designs from the city’s Urban Design & Architectural Advisory Panel. Plans are to begin construction by the end of the year and open in 2021.

Long-term plans for the 260-acre waterfront peninsula south of Interstate 95 call for building 3 million square feet of space in apartment, offices, shops, restaurants and a hotel over the next few decades.

The property now contains an Under Armour office building, with plans to develop a headquarters campus delayed. The Baltimore-based athletic brand’s founder and CEO, Kevin Plank, assembled the Port Covington property and founded Sagamore Development along with Marc Weller of Weller Development.

The property also includes the Sagamore Spirit distillery, owned by Plank, and Rye Street Tavern. The Baltimore Sun has a long-term lease on its facility there, which contains the news, business and printing operations of the newspaper and other publications.

The developers plan to ask the city soon to sell the first set of municipal bonds needed to pay for infrastructure work on the property such as water and sewer lines and new roads. The bonds were part of a controversial $660 million tax increment financing, or TIF, deal struck with the city in 2016. They will be repaid with the project’s property taxes deferred from city coffers.

Among the first tenants committed to the property are three cybersecurity-related firms that aim to create an industry hub there.