Development

National investors have been drawn to Downtown Baltimore and have purchased and updated several office towers. Hotel operators, financial lenders, residential developers, and restaurateurs have seen what many within the region overlook: the value in the DMA’s growing residential and employment base, central location, mixed-use potential, transit-connectivity, and varied architectural types. Join us at our annual State of Downtown Baltimore Breakfast on Thursday, March 26 as we unveil the 2019 economic update for Downtown Baltimore.

DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT SINCE 2011

Eight years ago, Downtown Partnership released a Strategic Plan for the Downtown Management Authority (DMA) District that identified 23 troubled properties holding Downtown Baltimore back. Since then, all but 4 have been redeveloped, including new towers that have risen on formerly empty parking lots. At least four public parks have undergone major renovations, collectively costing more than $15 million. Due to these transformations, the DMA boasts the greatest concentration of employment in the City, in addition to its explosive residential growth.

    When it comes to urban development, the recent history of the DMA is unparalleled. As a result, the DMA is the primary economic engine of the City. This small geographic area, just 1% of the City’s land, accounts for at least $100 million of tax revenues to the City per year.

Download the pdf here.

2019 DEVELOPMENT REPORT

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore's Development Report, released in Nov. 2019, is the most comprehensive look at central Maryland’s largest economic center. This report defines “downtown” as the area within a one-mile radius of Pratt and Light streets, which encompasses several neighborhoods.

Projects under construction as of November 2019 include: 245,700 square feet of office space; 829 housing units (with an additional 1,341 in planning); 447 hotel rooms (with an additional 516 in planning); and, 111,480 square feet of retail space (with an additional 235,449 in planning).

Most often thought of as a business and tourism district, Downtown Baltimore also has Baltimore’s most dense and fastest-growing residential neighborhoods. In 2018, for the second year in a row, this area maintained its position as the eleventh most populous downtown in the United States, with a larger number of residents than the downtowns in Miami, Houston, and Atlanta. Our previously-released Housing Demand Study projects Downtown Baltimore can absorb 7,000 units between 2017 and 2022, and the current occupancy rate of 96.5% indicates that demand is in line with this projection. Also worth noting is that almost one-quarter of all housing in Downtown Baltimore is affordable by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards, a number that exceeds the national average for downtowns.

Investment totals, after peaking in 2018, dropped in 2019, from over $800 million to over $200 million, largely as a result of two sizable mixed-use towers that were delivered at 414 Light and One Light, as well as UMB Health Sciences Facility. Given the known projects in development and planning, investment levels are expected to rise slightly closer to $472 million in 2020 and fall closer to $210 million in 2021.

Download the 2019 Development Report now.

OFFICE MARKET

The DMA boasts the region’s greatest concentration of employees with more than 58,000 people working here.

    More than 70 leases for nearly 1 million square feet of space have been executed since 2015. Even with the addition of new office towers, the overall office vacancy rate has improved by 3% over the recession and has recently held steady at 16.5%.

Read the most recent State of Downtown Baltimore Report now.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET

Every new apartment constructed attracts a new resident. Our previously-released Housing Demand Study projects Downtown Baltimore can absorb 7,000 units between 2017 and 2022, and the current occupancy rate of 96.5% indicates that demand is in line with this projection. Also worth noting is that almost one-quarter of all housing in Downtown Baltimore is affordable by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards, a number that exceeds the national average for downtowns.

Projects completed in Downtown neighborhoods over the past two years tell a compelling narrative: apartments and mixed-use spaces are thriving in Downtown Baltimore.

Download the Housing Demand Study now.

2018 and 2019

The pace of progress quickened in 2018 and remains healthy in early 2019:
• At least five new restaurants opened last year - Chez Hugo, La Calle, The Red Boat, and others – and at least four major restaurants are opening within the next few months – The Alexander Brown Restaurant, R&R Taqueria, Blackwall Hitch, and Bon Fresco.
• At least four new residential projects opened last year – 225 North Calvert, 300 St. Paul, Franklin Lofts, and 414 Light.
• Three new hotels are under construction and/or nearing completion: Candlewood Suites, Cambria Suites, and Hilton Garden Inn.
• Numerous properties along North Howard Street, once falling apart, are under reconstruction.
• A brand-new office tower was completed at One Light and welcomed its lead tenant, M&T Bank.

Download the Charles Center Development Map now.