Stadium Square building could be first step in Sharp-Leadenhall revitalization

Plano-Coudon crews are preparing to break ground on a building that could trigger the revival of a South Baltimore neighborhood and enable a nonprofit to further its mission.

The six-story, 72,000-square-foot office building on Ostend Street will be one of the first pieces of the Stadium Square mixed-use development.

“With the Stadium Square development and upcoming Port Covington project featuring Under Armour’s new headquarters, South Baltimore will continue to regain its place as a premier part of Baltimore,” said Arsh Mirmiran, a partner with Caves Valley Partners.

In total, Caves Valley plans to develop 300,000 square feet of office space, close to 700 apartments and about 80,000 square feet of retail space on an assemblage of properties in the Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood. The project will also include construction of a new community center on the property of Leadenhall Baptist Church and a revitalization of Solo Gibbs Park, adjacent to M&T Bank Stadium.

Mirmiran believes the revitalization plan makes perfect sense and is long overdue.

“People who really understand Baltimore recognize the advantages and fundamental attributes of South Baltimore and gravitate here,” Mirmiran said.

Close to downtown, Federal Hill and the stadiums, the South Baltimore site offers easy access to I-95 and I-295, and is just a short walk from Light Rail and MARC train stations.

“A historic neighborhood in South Baltimore, Sharp-Leadenhall has a rich African American history as well as industrial significance,” said Matthew D’Amico, a principal at Design Collective, architect for the first Stadium Square office building. “South Baltimore has always been a very established live-work community. People walk to their jobs at Domino Sugar, on the piers at Locust Point and in various industrial buildings. This development is trying to stay true to that neighborhood history of living and working in the same place.”

A long-time business resident of the Federal Hill area, Plano-Coudon was excited to land contracts to both build the core and shell of the first Stadium Square office building and also complete the office fitouts within. The company has always operated from South Baltimore offices and, on multiple occasions, even investigated moving to the site of the planned office building.

“We couldn’t make the location work for us, but we still have sentimental feelings for this site and we are excited, at the end of the day, to be part of the improvement that is going to happen there,” Coudon said.

The tight, urban site poses some challenges. The site is surrounded by an active railhead, residential properties, a garage and the busy Ostend Street, so access and staging space is limited.

“We are doing a lot of pre-construction work to determine exactly how we are going to set up the job site, how we are going to receive deliveries, where people are going to park, what street closures will be needed, and how we are going to build every piece of this job,” Coudon said. “But we have a lot of experience operating on tight, urban sites. Our goal is to make the construction piece a no-brainer so Caves Valley can focus on all the other aspects of doing the Stadium Square development.”


Photo: One of the first buildings in the Stadium Square mixed-use development, the six-story office building on Ostend Street will blend the heritage look of the area’s brick buildings and warehouses with many modern design features desired in Class A office space.