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Amtrak Seeks Master Developer to Upgrade Baltimore Station

Amtrak is seeking a master developer to redevelop Baltimore Penn Station and surrounding property.

During an upcoming industry day event, Amtrak will outline its station investment and development approach and describe next steps in the solicitation process. The passenger rail service, which owns the station, plans to issue a request for qualifications followed by a request for proposals, Amtrak announced  July 19.

The selected developer will deliver a master plan and design, build, finance, operate and maintain non-rail station assets and take on expansion projects and the commercial development of surrounding Amtrak-owned assets.

The developer also could expand retail and other space inside the station and develop the upper floor of the station, along with some of the outdoor space.

This solicitation is part of the company’s larger program to enhance its financial performance and reinvest in infrastructure, which could include development opportunities at other Amtrak stations such as Chicago Union Station’s redevelopment, for which Amtrak is also seeking a master developer.

Amtrak’s interest in using a master planner for the project dates back to 2012 when it selected Beatty Development to submit a plan develop the station parking lot. Although the firm submitted a  proposal in March 2013, which  called for construction of new housing and commercial space on the lot at a cost of about $500 million, Amtrak never pursued it, reported the Baltimore Business Journal.

Nine firms responded to Amtrak’s RFI in February but their names and details about their submissions were not released, reported the Baltimore Sun.

The industry day will be held Aug. 10 at the University of Baltimore’s John and Frances Angelos Law Center in Baltimore. The event is free but registration is required.

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