Downtown Baltimore’s Harborplace just moved one step closer to undergoing a much-needed facelift.
MCB Real Estate managing partners David Bramble and Peter Pinkard were joined by Gov. Wes Moore, Mayor Brandon Scott, City Council President Nick Mosby, along with several other political leaders, business leaders, community leaders and dozens of local residents as they unveiled design plans for the revitalized Harborplace on the morning of Oct. 30, 2023.
The unveiling signified a major milestone in MCB’s endeavor to revitalize the heart of downtown Baltimore – characterized by many as the city’s “front lawn.”
Held at the Light Street Pavilion, members of the revitalization project’s design team were in attendance, including Vaki Mawema, managing director and principal at Gensler, which is the leading design firm.
During the 45-minute event, project leaders shared remarks about what this transformative investment means for the future of Baltimore’s residents, visitors and business community. Event speakers expressed unwavering support and touted the efforts of MCB, the design team and project supporters as renderings for the reimagined Harborplace were unveiled.
Bramble also fostered support from his mother, Baltimore Times Publisher Joy Bramble, and father, entrepreneur and retired Episcopal priest, Peter Bramble. He has been ambitious since he was a child, Joy and Peter said, adding that they couldn’t be prouder of their son’s milestone achievement.
“I’m proud beyond words,” Peter said. “I always knew he was going to do something significant with his life, but I never thought it would be this high-level. I’m just overwhelmed by his progress and his dedication to this city.”
Joy expressed similar sentiments.
“I’m extremely proud. I always thought he was going to have a successful life but this far outweighed any dream I could have had about him,” she said. “As I said, he’s a Baltimore lover, so he’s trying to do the best for his city.”
Images seen on the renderings reflected a complete renaissance of Harborplace that increased visibility of the water for pedestrians and bypassers in cars, bicycles and public transit.
The unveiling announcement was an esteemed and unique occasion that represented a special moment in Baltimore’s storied history, bringing together the state’s first Black governor, a Black mayor, and a Black developer – all of whom share a deep-rooted passion for the growth, well-being and prosperity of Baltimore.
“While MCB has completed real estate transactions in more than 30 states here in the U.S., nothing – and I mean nothing – means more to us than our hometown and the amazing potential we see in this city,” said Bramble, who characterized Harborplace’s redevelopment as Baltimore’s next big renaissance.
This undertaking is one of two of MCB’s most notable redevelopment projects, Bramble added, also estimating the total project cost to hover around $500 million at the least.
“This is a new mixed-use waterfront designed for environmental resiliency, more public and park space, better water views and water access, and a gathering place where people will want to come and shop, and be entertained, and work, and work, and live, and linger and enjoy,” he said.
The renderings also reflect a mixed-use development that will see a transition from indoor malls to a more active, multi-purpose space for living, gathering, recreating, eating and shopping. The preliminary design plans revealed four new buildings along with several other amenities and features, some of which include:
- A 200,000 square foot commercial building on Pratt Street, with an open public ground floor with publicly available conference spaces.
- A 200,000 square foot retail and commercial building that will house food and beverage options, including a 50,000 square foot publicly accessible rooftop park on Pratt Street.
- An 8,500 square foot retail building in a 30,000 square foot park and 2,000 seat amphitheater, bounded by Light and Pratt Streets
- A conjoined residential tower on Light Street with a stepped down design (32 stories and 25 stories) to maximize views. The building will include approximately 900 dwelling units, retail and commercial uses.
- A new two-tiered Promenade that will enable visitors to directly interact with the water.
Following the unveiling event, Moore’s office announced that the state of Maryland will invest $67.5 million to redevelop Harborplace during the second annual Baltimore Together summit.
The future of Maryland is largely hinged on the success and progression of its largest city, Moore expressed while at the podium, saying the Harborplace redevelopment plan will catapult Baltimore to unprecedented heights.
“It is wonderful to have a physical illustration of what is required for change and impact,” Moore said. “In order for this to be Maryland’s decade, it’s got to be Baltimore’s time. And we’re going to invest that way.”
Mayor Brandon Scott expressed his administration’s commitment to making the revitalization project come to fruition.
“The plans being unveiled today for this project looks through the lens of what’s best for Baltimore, what’s best for our residents – current and future – what’s best to bolster our neighborhoods, not just here in downtown but everywhere in the city. And what is best for our city to thrive and grow,” Scott said.