BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s an iconic landmark that’s stood vacant for more than 15 years. Now work has begun to transform Recreation Pier in the heart of Fells Point into a world class hotel—and one of Baltimore’s most prominent businessmen is at the helm.
Meghan McCorkell got a sneak peek at the new plans.
Over the years, many developers have tried to transform the 100-year-old pier. Now construction has finally started.
A Fells Point landmark that’s been run down for more than a decade will transform into a luxury hotel anchoring the waterfront community. Wednesday, ground was broken on the new multi-million project to make over Recreation Pier.
“It has been a horrible eyesore and for me, it’s been one of those things…everyone says, `Why can’t we just do something with this building?'” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The new 128-room hotel will sit in the middle of one of Baltimore’s most historic communities.
“It will be authentic. It will be real. It will be Baltimore,” said Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
Plank is the man behind the plan—and will be able to see the hotel from his office window.
“We want to put the best elements of Maryland altogether in one place,” Plank said.
Recreation Pier was built back in 1914 as a commercial pier. Most recently, it was a set for the show “Homicide: Life on the Streets.” The building was once a community center for immigrants and featured a dance hall. Under the new plans, that ballroom will be restored to its former grandeur.
People who live in the area are excited.
“It will also add a little bit of food traffic and I think local merchants are going to be very happy about that,” said Nick Coutros.
The new hotel is slated to open in 2016. The hotel will feature a pool, restaurant, whiskey bar and a boat launch.
Plank believes the project will be a win-win for his company and the Fells Point community.