Music artist Pharrell Williams invests in Baltimore Arena renovation

A rendering shows what the Baltimore Arena could look like once renovations are complete by 2023. The renovated arena will accommodate 14,000 guests for concerts, sporting events and more. Rendered courtesy of SCI Architects.

Grammy-winning musical artist Pharrell Williams is investing in the Baltimore Arena renovation, the project is estimated at $200 million, officials said Thursday.

Los Angeles-based developer Oak View Group held a groundbreaking event for the project on Thursday. Crews began working on the project just after the Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) men’s and women’s basketball tournaments ended in February.

The developers estimate the project will cost $200 million, up from $150 million estimated by the developers in March.

Oak View Group, Fundamental Advisors and Thirty Five Ventures will fully fund the price of rebuilding the arena, paid for by a combination of private debt and equity.
The developers will lease the building for the next 30 years through a new entity called Baltimore Arena Co.

Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, said the $200 million investment by his company and its partners “will be a catalyst to rejuvenate downtown Baltimore with new life, new jobs and new economic incentives”.

Leiweke added that the transformation of the 60-year-old city-owned arena “will create a world-class destination point for live entertainment for all of Baltimore.”

anyone can be aware of the progress of the projectcaptured by an OxBlue construction camera 24 hours a day inside the building.

Construction must be completed in early 2023 in order for Baltimore to once again host the CIAA tournaments on February 20, 2023.

In fact, CIAA tournaments have extended their stay in Baltimore until at least 2025.

Once redeveloped, the arena “will serve as an anchor to completely revitalize our downtown community for generations to come,” Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement.

“I’m proud that this project reaffirms our commitment to reinvest more in minority-owned small businesses and create a future that uplifts us all,” Scott said. “At a time when so many people in our city, as well as across the country, are feeling the rising costs of goods and services, this project is an important step towards revitalizing our local economy through the creation of more jobs, new businesses, tourism, and other growth opportunities that will benefit all Baltimore residents. Baltimore’s renaissance is on the horizon.

The arena will be able to accommodate 14,000 guests when completely renovated. It will host concerts; family shows; community, corporate and private events; and sporting events such as UFC, tennis, boxing, NBA exhibition games, NCAA events, tournaments, etc.

Williams, who grew up in Virginia Beach, said he was “very involved” throughout the DC, Maryland and Virginia area – or “DMV” – including Baltimore.

“This city has so much to offer with its growing music, entertainment and sports scene, and it’s clear the time has come for Baltimore Arena to breathe new life into the region,” Williams said in a statement. . “I believe in this region, in this project, and I am delighted to invest in its future.

Brooklyn Nets basketball player Kevin Durant, who co-founded Thirty Five Ventures with business partner Rich Kleiman, is excited to be part of the Baltimore Arena renovation project with the Oak View Group.

“Oak View Group is the best at what they do, and we are proud to be able to work with them on a project that will bring not only sports and entertainment, but also jobs and opportunity to the Baltimore community,” Durant said in a statement. “It’s great to start the process.”

Arena renovations include removing the permanent stage, adding seats and suites, renovating the halls, upgrading the concession areas, and changing the look of the building.

The project will improve sustainability with locally sourced materials, LED lighting, low-flow and waterless fixtures, and more.

The arena will also be equipped with better acoustics; contactless and self-service technologies for food, beverage and merchandise purchases; renovations at the back of the house; upgrades to structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and fire protection systems; plumbing, electrical, fire protection and lighting construction; and updates to the arena’s telecommunications infrastructure, wireless network, video, network and security systems.

“The Baltimore Development Corporation is pleased to see the progress of the Baltimore Arena renovation,” Colin Tarbert, president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation, said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure to work with Oak View Group to achieve this milestone and we are excited to see the final results in early 2023. This major private investment will spur development on the west side of downtown.

Clark Construction Group, which has worked in Baltimore for more than 45 years, will oversee the arena project.

Ryan McKenzie, Clark’s senior vice president of Baltimore operations, said the company has worked on more than 70 projects in Baltimore and is excited to be involved in the arena’s renovation.

“Clark is thrilled to partner with OVG, BDC and 35V to realize their vision of transforming this arena into a world-class entertainment venue for the Baltimore community.”

Developers expect the renovation project to create around 500 construction jobs over the next 12 months.

The team has set a goal of awarding 27% of construction subcontracts to minority-owned businesses and 10% to women-owned businesses.

SCI architects is the main designer of the project.

OVG has also ensured that minority depository institutions are among its lending partners. Harbor Bank of Maryland, a black-owned bank headquartered in Baltimore, is a member of the lending syndicate run by Truist Bank.

“When entities like OVG bank Black, they demonstrate their support for true economic equity by supporting institutions that are on the front lines of this country’s racial wealth gap,” said the National Black Bank co-founder. Foundation, Brandon Comer, in a statement.

Marcus Dieterle
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