Flight connectivity, meeting venues, and hotels — these are the basics of site selection. But equally important is the city’s culture — the food, entertainment, and potential for memorable experiences. Baltimore, Maryland, already offers planners options that will meet their attendees’ needs in all those areas. But with new developments creating more opportunities for convention connections, Charm City is finding fresh ways to live up to its nickname.
Several of the new developments are within a short walk to the Baltimore Convention Center, which offers 300,000 square feet of contiguous expo space, 50 meeting rooms, and a 36,600-square-foot ballroom. Of the 9,000 downtown hotel rooms, 2,300 are within a block to the convention center. Here’s a look at the new developments that will be within strolling distance of the convention center:
Royal Farms Arena
The former Baltimore Arena — the city’s largest indoor sports and performance venue — is undergoing a $150-million renovation that will increase seating to accommodate up to 15,000 guests. Just a five-minute walk from the convention center, the arena can be used by groups needing additional space, or, depending on what is scheduled at the time of the meeting, an entertaining interlude. The renovation is expected to be complete in early 2023.
Warner Street District
Just a 20-minute walk from the convention center, the Warner Street District will link two existing entertainment venues — MGM’s Horseshoe Casino and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Ravens. At 250,000 square feet, the area will include a new Paramount music venue, a Topgolf facility, Yards Social Bar, a hotel, and more than 34,000 square feet of retail and dining space. The development also will make improvements to the southern waterfront, including a rehab of the Middle Branch Waterway and Gwynns Falls Bike Trails.
Originally built in 1911, Penn Station sees more than three million Amtrak and MARC passengers coming through each year. A multimillion-dollar revitalization and expansion, done in phases, will preserve the station’s historic details and improve its functionality, add up to one million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space, and build another facility to accommodate high-speed rail. All just a 20-minute walk from the convention center.
America’s oldest public market is set to open later this year after a massive makeover that includes a new outdoor plaza for community events and concerts. Just a 15-minute walk from the convention center, the 200-plus-year-old market celebrates Baltimore’s diverse local and minority-owned businesses.
Only 10 minutes by foot from the convention center, this 7.5-acre space along the Inner Harbor promenade is undergoing a renovation that already has added three parks — a nature park, adventure park, and skate park — along with a shaded lawn and an overlook on to the waterfront. Coming soon is a new pavilion that will feature a café with outdoor seating.
Planners looking to leverage Baltimore’s knowledge economy assets may consider the city’s newest waterfront neighborhood, which is just a 20-minute walk from the convention center. Exelon’s Baltimore headquarters, where 1,500 of the energy company’s employees work, is housed here in a 20-story, LEED Gold building. Also in the neighborhood: James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde’s restaurant, Plantbar. By 2024, there will be 4.5 acres of park space and more office, retail, and residential facilities.
To learn more about how planners can take advantage of the offerings in these new developments, contact the experts at Visit Baltimore by clicking the link in the logo below.