Central Plaza at Harbor Point: Transforming an Empty Lot into a Green Space in a Newly Thriving Neighborhood

Posted in Blog, green roof, Jobsite Photos on July 20, 2017

On the west end of Fells Point and near the Harbor East neighborhood in Baltimore, the new Harbor Point development has transformed one of the last stretches of undeveloped waterfront in the city. An ambitious, mixed-use project with office and retail buildings, open space, affordable dining options, and residential units, Harbor Point is poised to become an important economic center in the city.

The focal point of the new Harbor Point area is the 430,000 square foot Baltimore headquarters of Exelon Corporation, which soars into the sky over what used to be an empty lot, the former industrial location of Allied Signal’s Baltimore Works. The 21-story building is LEED platinum certified and houses approximately 1500 Exelon and Constellation employees.

Adjacent to the new building, Central Plaza, a 1.5 acre park, provides much-needed green space for neighborhood and employee use. Built on top of a parking garage for the Exelon building, the park features a center area of grass, garden areas, stone paving with benches, and tree-lined walkways on the perimeter. Central Plaza is built with two rooflite soil systems: rooftop lawns and rooftop trees. The rooftop trees system offers the large specimen trees a deep system, which mimics natural soil horizons and provides a special layer for the deeper root zone required by trees. The beautiful rooftop garden is a thriving oasis in this new area – complete with the iconic Domino sugar sign and the water in view.

Central Plaza is designed to be a communal outdoor space for the city. Events, such as waterfront yoga, community get-togethers, and music shows, are frequently hosted in this space, and it offers an easy and open spot for gatherings of all kinds in this now bustling area.

The real triumph of both Central Plaza and the overall Harbor Point development is that it took a previously industrial space and turned it into a usable and safe area. The Allied Signal’s Baltimore Works that was located here from the 1840s to the 1980s was a chromium refinery. The industrial use of the site had left pollution of groundwater, harbor water and the air. With careful environmental and pollution plans in place to allow for construction, which were approved by the EPA and the Maryland Department of Environment, construction on the Exelon building and Central Plaza began in 2014 and completed in 2016.

And now Baltimore has a dynamic green space to enjoy now and into the future. rooflite is proud to have provided the soil for such an important transformational project for Baltimore, and we look forward to watching the park and the neighborhood flourish.