Cyber Town, USA: Baltimore's Port Covington to be Cybersecurity Hub

South Baltimore’s new waterfront redevelopment, Port Covington, is poised to become a national “leading cybersecurity and technology hub,” city and state leaders say.

Port Covington, on the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River, started as a railroad terminal in the early 20th century. When the terminal closed, it sat vacant for decades, and more recently housed a Walmart. A development company owned by Under Armour founder Kevin Plank announced plans to redevelop it in 2016.

A rendering of the Port Covington redevelopment by Weller Development Company

On Thursday, developers, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced that three major cybersecurity firms are relocating and expanding to the waterfront property. Two of the three already have a presence in Silicon Valley. DataTribe is a globally-known cybersecurity startup studio. AllegisCyber is one of the oldest Silicon Valley early-stage cybersecurity venture capital firms. And Evergreen Advisors, based in Columbia, Maryland, is an investment banking and corporate advisory firm.

“These businesses are leaving Silicon Valley, an area thought to be the nation’s tech capital, in order to become part of something new and exciting here. Why? Because Port Covington has it all: prime waterfront location, connectivity, an abundance of existing dynamic tech talent and an entrepreneurial ethos focused on future growth,” said lead Port Covington developer Marc Weller, partner of Weller Development Company.

DataTribe’s co-founder, Mike Janke, even called Port Covington the future “Cyber Town, USA.” He noted that Maryland has the largest cyber workforce in the world, with more than 109,000 cyber-related engineering and data science professionals.

“This new development at Port Covington will further spur development of cyber companies, bringing much-needed jobs, capital investment, and business opportunities to Baltimore City and our state,” said Governor Hogan.

The 235-acre Port Covington redevelopment is already home to an Under Armour corporate campus, whiskey distillery Sagamore Spirit and restaurant Rye Street Tavern. It promises to bring thousands of new jobs to the waterfront. The project will include office buildings, hotels, residential, and riverfront parks. The entire project is expected to take 25 years and include 2.5 miles of restored waterfront and 40 acres of green space.

The just-announced cybersecurity firms will move into the development’s initial phase of buildings, known as Rye Street Market. The 180,000-square-foot property will include “boutique loft-style creative office buildings,” a market, restaurants and shops.

 Rye Street Market is expected to be finished in late 2020.

-Meg Walburn Viviano