BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  A massive undertaking in a part of town that was largely empty. Now construction is underway to build a brand-new community from the ground up at a price tag of about $5 billion.

“What’s going on is things you can’t see,” said Marc Weller, President and CEO of Weller Development.

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What you can see is the beginning of what soon will be apartments, retail stores, offices and 40 acres of open space with views of the Patapsco River from south Baltimore’s Port Covington.

It’ll also house the future Under Armour headquarters.

“It’s so big the project, that the way we look at it, is the catalyst is for the future of the project here at Port Covington,” Weller said.

When all is said and done, Weller said he wants to attract people from all over Maryland, much like the Inner Harbor.

“If you think about a neighborhood, that’s just a traditional neighborhood, not different like any other in Baltimore that can also attract 14 million to 20 million visitors a year,” Weller said.

But more importantly, the project promises to partner with its surrounding communities like Brooklyn, Cherry Hill and Westport, and to connect those neighborhoods to this hub of future jobs, entertainment and affordable housing.

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Six of those neighbors already have received $19 million to put toward development and education.

“What you often see in development is the community not being considered first and what this project is, well before I arrived, is was considering the communities’ perspective first and make sure this was a true partnership,” said Marc Broady, Weller’s vice president of community affairs.

Clyde Jenkins has been watching the project unfold from across the water in Cherry Hill.

“You see it coming to life after a year or two went by,” he said.

Jenkins said he’s hopeful it will breathe new life into this part of town.

“It’ll be a place to go like the Harbor,” he said. “To see our city and our country grow because we all live here.”

Phase One should be complete by the end of 2022 or early 2023. But to develop this entire area could take anywhere from 15 to 20 years.

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Rachel Menitoff