The Baltimore Penn Station redevelopment project will involve enhancements to the historic station to improve passenger experiences.
Originally built in 1911, Baltimore Penn Station is the eighth busiest rail station in the Amtrak network. The last major renovation of the station was performed in 1984. Its ageing infrastructure is not suitable for the operation of modern trains.
The station redevelopment project will comprise expansion and modernisation to accommodate the increased passenger traffic. The station area will be transformed into a key multi-modal transportation hub serving the greater Baltimore region.
The restored and repurposed Penn station is expected to improve connectivity with the surrounding communities. It will be a major connection along the busy Northeast Corridor.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the project took place in October 2021 and construction works were started in February 2022.
Pen Station location
The historic Penn Station, which is 2.5 miles (4km) north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, anchors the Charles North District in Baltimore City.
Details of the station redevelopment
The existing platform is being renovated as part of the first phase of the rail infrastructure development at Baltimore Penn station. An additional platform will be built to accommodate Amtrak’s new Acela high-speed rail trains. The platform enhancements will increase the track capacity and improve ride quality.
The headhouse will be renovated to accommodate retail and amenities spaces.
The redeveloped station will have five entrances instead of the two it had previously. The porous design will enable nearby communities to use the station building and plazas as thoroughfares.
The project will also involve transforming the underutilised sites surrounding the station into a mixed-used development, which will provide approximately one million ft² for the establishment of new retail units, offices, residences, and hotels. Upgrades and repairs will be performed to the existing platforms.
The underused Lanvale site will be expanded to the north. The Lanvale building will be developed as a mixed-use structure, which will be integrated with the existing station and the planned high-speed rail platform.
Ticketing and baggage functions will be shifted to the expanded area of the Lanvale site, which will free up space on the station concourse level to accommodate commercial facilities.
New retail and restaurant spaces will be constructed on the concourse level while the three upper floors will be developed as office space to accommodate either a single anchor tenant or multiple tenants.
The renovation works are set to commence in Summer 2022 while the station expansion is scheduled to begin in Autumn 2022.
Works will include masonry repairs, existing window repairs, and vertical circulation. The project will also involve the creation of a new roof, the installation of new mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems, and renovation of elevators, stairs, and ramps.
The proposed office space refurbishment, including new elevators and toilets, is expected to be completed in Summer 2023.
The new Lanvale commercial complex is expected to be completed in 2024.
Penn Station Partners (PSP), the master developer of the project, received equity funding from Blueprint Local, a community-focused real estate fund, for the station redevelopment in February 2020.
Amtrak plans to invest approximately $150m for the redevelopment of the Baltimore Penn station.
The Maryland Historical Trust awarded a $3m Maryland Historic Revitalisation Tax Credit for the project in December 2019.
Furthermore, the project received $4m in state financing in the 2022 budget, including $3m from the legislature and $1m added to the governor’s supplemental budget, in April 2022.
Sustainability of the redevelopment
The station redevelopment project is expected to meet the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which was adopted by Baltimore City in 2015.
Sustainability features will include a green roof, LED lighting, efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, energy-efficient glazing for glass windows, and electric vehicle charging stations.
Amtrak and Penn Station Partners (PSP) signed a master development agreement to redevelop and expand the Baltimore Penn Station in April 2019.
PSP is a development team led by Beatty Development Group and Cross Street Partners. It also comprises a local and international team of highly experienced planning, design, and construction firms such as Armada Hoffler Properties, Gensler, Mace Group, WSP USA, and Network Rail Consulting.
Gensler provided the design for the station redevelopment. Quinn Evans Architects is serving as associate architect as part of PSP.
CBRE, a global leader in commercial real estate services and investment, is handling the office leasing at Penn station while Segall Group is responsible for the retail leasing.
JLL, a global provider of real estate and investment management services, was named the office leasing broker of record for Baltimore’s historic Penn Station in October 2021.
The company was appointed to undertake leasing and marketing of 30,000ft² (2,787m²) of renovated office space within the Head House, as well as an additional 250,000ft² (23,225.76m²) in the Lanvale building near the station.