- Construction work is underway at the $5.5 billion, 235-acre Port Covington waterfront redevelopment project in Baltimore, Maryland. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is leading construction, and STV Inc. is the engineer of record.
- The first phase, which The Baltimore Sun reports is valued at $600 million to $700 million, will add 1.3 million square feet of office space, almost 338,000 square feet of retail, more than 976,000 square feet of residential space and 285,000 square feet of hotel space. Land grading will reportedly begin immediately and roadwork in the fall.
- The first property to be completed during the first phase, the 275,000-square-foot Rye Street Market, is set to open in late 2021. The mixed-use building will feature 185,000 square feet of office space; a 13,000-square-foot open-air market and food hall; 50,000 square feet of retail; 12,000 square feet of meeting space; and a 15,000-square-foot rooftop event venue.
Already on the site are some dining establishments and office building for Under Armour, which played a key role in getting development plans started but has since delayed its plans for a headquarters on the site. When the entire Port Covington project is built out, it will feature up to 40 acres of parks and green space, 2.5 miles of restored waterfront and 18 million square feet of new, mixed-use space.
The project is a public-private partnership between the city of Baltimore and Port Covington developers, and will be the beneficiary of bond financing to help pay for an estimated $1.4 billion of infrastructure. Developers have also agreed to provide a host of community benefits, including the hiring of minority contractors and businesses to participate in the Port Covington project; development of inclusionary housing; and contributions of more than $10 million toward local youth, education and empowerment programs.
Even projects that do not use any kind of public financing sometimes offer up a package of community benefits to win the support of locals. For instance, an extensive benefit program is in place for the privately financed, $1.5 billion Kansas City Airport terminal project in Kansas City, Missouri.
The joint venture of Clark Construction Group, The Weitz Co. and Clarkson Construction Co., part of the Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate team that won the design and construction contract for the project, offered free construction management training last year to minority- and women-owned businesses. Completion of the six-month program didn’t guarantee an airport contract, but graduates last month walked away with extensive training in accounting, bonding, blueprint reading, contracts, estimating, purchasing, project management and making presentations — all skills they can use to grow their businesses.
Other benefits offered by the joint venture include a pre-apprenticeship program; mentoring; high school and college internships; transportation, childcare and onsite medical care for those working on the project; and expedited pay, grants, loans, and bonding assistance for contractors.