An aerial view of Baltimore Peninsula

The development team behind the $5.5B Baltimore Peninsula project has already completed more than 1.1M SF of residential and commercial space, and now it is touting how its work is boosting the economy while mitigating the potential consequences of gentrification.

The project’s lead developers, MAG Partners and MacFarlane Partners, along with investor Sagamore Ventures, released a report Thursday highlighting the “growth and positive change” they accredit to the development. They reported a series of figures around their contracting dollars and housing affordability that surpass the targets agreed upon in a 2016 deal with the city.

“Momentum is building all around, but let us be clear that our work is just beginning,” says a letter signed by MAG Partners founder MaryAnne Gilmartin, MacFarlane Partners founder Victor MacFarlane and Sagamore Ventures CEO Kevin Plank. “As Baltimore’s renaissance unfolds citywide, we will continue our community-focused investments to ensure that the neighborhoods around us reap the benefits of equitable economic growth.”

So far, according to the report, construction contracts totaling more than $134M have been awarded to minority- and women-owned construction firms. The report said 35% of contracts have gone to minority-owned businesses and 13% have gone to women-owned enterprises.   

Additionally, Baltimore Peninsula has designated 20% of the apartments completed in the first building phase as affordable units, the report says. 

Those units include 35 apartments at the 250 Mission Building set aside for residents making 80% of the area median income. Likewise, 54 units in the Rye House building are considered affordable. That includes 45 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit apartments available at 50% of AMI and nine spaces available at 30% of AMI with project-based vouchers.   

The report also says that Baltimore Peninsula’s contractors have hired 476 Baltimore residents to work construction jobs. It said more than 52% of new hires for employment at the project are city residents.

Reaching those goals is part of a memorandum of understanding between the city and the original developer, Sagamore Development Co., which the firm signed in 2016 and applies to the development team that took over the project in May 2022.

Bisnow/Adam Bednar<br />
MAG Partners CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin speaks during the event announcing Slutty Vegan as a tenant at Rye Street Market.
MAG Partners CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin speaks during the event announcing Slutty Vegan as a tenant at Rye Street Market.

Sagamore Development Co. signed the memorandum as part of the firm’s efforts to court political support for a city financing package with up to $660M in tax increment financing to pay for infrastructure at the 235-acre site.      

That agreement required Sagamore Development Co. and any future lead developer to reach specific targets for hiring minority- and woman-owned contracting firms, hiring city residents and providing affordable housing.

As part of the agreement with the city, the developer pledged that minority contractors would receive a minimum of 27% of contracts for work covered by tax increment financing and slated 10% for woman-owned firms. 

The memorandum between the city and the developer also stipulated that Baltimore residents must make up 30% of all on-site employees and 51% of all newly hired employees. 

As part of the agreement, the developer pledged to earmark at least 10% of all residential units for residents making no more than 60% of AMI and at least 5% for residents making a maximum of 50% of AMI.

The team hosted a celebration in October to announce a deal with restaurateur Aisha “Pinky” Cole, a Black woman and Baltimore native who is opening concepts Slutty Vegan and Bar Vegan at Baltimore Peninsula’s Rye Street Market building. She has also come on as a development partner in that building and is helping curate vendors in a new marketplace at the complex. 

This article was originally published on on February 18, 2024, and has been reposted here to share and consolidate information about Freedom West 2.0. The original article can be viewed here: