An article in today’s Baltimore Business Journal outlines Struever bros. plans for a large development that includes a 38 story tower.? I’m not sure if this is completely new or a variation on the multiple plans we have seen in the past.? See past Port Covington posts.? It sounds like an ambitious project.? Apparently the review panel objects to the number of residential units and height of the tower in Struever’s plan… sounds familiar.
Driving down I-95 yesterday, I noticed that demolition had begun on the old Westport Power Plant on the banks of the middle branch of the Patapsco River in Baltimore.? This might make the vision of having a “second inner harbor” as some people have called it, more of a reality.? ? Planned is a mixed-use development that will include high-rises, offices, condos, and retail.? Rumor also has it (unconfirmed) that Donald Trump has invested in the project in anticipation of legalized gambling in Baltimore.? The middle branch has been one of the locations proposed for a slots parlor if approved by Maryland voters.
? In other Middle branch news, the Tribune Company has bought up The Sun’s land in Port Covington (56 acres).? This land, along with the land occupied currently by Wal-Mart and Sams Club, have been targeted for mixed-use redevelopment.? The developer apparently envisions a “2-billion dollar, Harbor East-style community”.? If the Sun property and the Wal-Mart property are combined, this would apparently amount to about 140 acres available for? redevelopment.? This is in addition to and separate from the redevelopment planned around the former power station.? However, having multiple developers investing in the same area will hopefully fuel the fire and encourage heavier investment.?
I came across this great post about Baltimore’s Port Covington.? It’s on Gerald’s Baltimore InnerSpace blog – thorough, insightful commentary and some nice photos of the Baltimore – worth checking out.
On the heels of the recent articles about Sam’s Club closing its Port Covington store, The Daily Record published a story about the developer’s plans to build a billion dollar project on the 56 acre waterfront site.? Really it just sounds like more of the same for Port Covington – lofty plans, great ideas, but no real time frame or movement.? ? ?
Even rumors about Donald Trump purchasing the site have circulated for the last couple years, but at this point as far as I know they’re nothing more than that.
After multiple conflicting reports, today’s Baltimore Sun has an article revealing that the SAM’s club in Port Covington is indeed being relocated to Glen Burnie, but the Wal-Mart is staying.? Which sucks, because the Wal-Mart is a real dump, but the SAM’s Club is pretty nice.
Basically the article states that the retail stores were premature, and need more residential in the area to support them.
“Clearly the area will go through a transition, and it hasn’t gotten there yet,” Spector said.? “Residential is very important down there,” Spector added. “Right now there is not residential there and retail obviously requires residential bodies.”
Baltimore Business Journal had this story on Friday.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will close its Sam’s Club in the controversial Port Covington shopping center in South Baltimore once it opens another wholesale store in Glen Burnie early next year, a Wal-Mart spokesman said.
Steven Restivo said in an e-mail that the Sam’s Club is relocating to Glen Burnie, “as part of an effort to better serve the Greater Baltimore metro area. The existing location will remain open throughout the transition, and we expect this to be complete in early 2008.”
Rumors have been circulating for years about the future fate of the Wal-Mart and SAMS club in South Baltimore’s Port Covington area.? The latest rumors have indicated that the two stores will be closing as early as January 08 and that the retailers are replacing them with a SAMS in Glen Burnie and a Wal-Mart in Southwest Baltimore.?
The development of these two big box stores on waterfront property has been controversial form the beginning.? And it seems that the SAMS club does well but the Wal-Mart has never lived up to expectations.? A entire retail complex was originally planned and promised for the site – but years later the two super stores sit alone among unfinished parking lots.
A March 2007 Baltimore Business Journal article covered the subject in detail.
The spaces have remained blank nearly five years since a Connecticut developer opened the city’s first Wal-Mart in a once empty rail yard. And, by all indications, it seems the spaces will remain blank in the foreseeable future. The reason: Its original developer said it had no interest in staying at Port Covington for the long haul and its new owners have no immediate plans to develop the site.
Kodiak Properties LLC and Finmarc Management Inc. of Bethesda purchased the site that houses the Port Covington Shopping Center in early 2005.
However the new owners have stated that they have no immediate plans to develop the land.? Apparently they want to wait it out until market conditions are better – not sure when that would be.? There have been all kinds of retail and residential uses discussed for the area, but it seems that none of these have gained? enough traction.? This article talked about one such plan.
The waterfront property with easy adjacent access to 95 seems too valuable and has too much potential to remain undeveloped – it’s just a question of what and when it will be redeveloped.? One bright spot of news for the area is the Port Covington Maritime Center, which is where Tidewater Yacht Services moved to from its former location on Key Highway next to Domino Sugar.