Amtrak, Penn Station Partners begin Baltimore Penn Station construction

March 1, 2022
The full historic preservation and state-of-the-art redevelopment of the city’s main transportation hub is now under way. 

Construction has commenced at Baltimore Penn Station with Amtrak and Penn Station Partners, the Baltimore-based global development team leading the transformation of the city’s main transportation hub, installing scaffolding, fencing and materials around the station exterior.  

“Amtrak and the Penn Station Partners team are returning Baltimore’s Penn Station to a much-needed state of good repair by making vital core and shell improvements to polish the station’s appearance and increase overall functionality,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President, Strategy, Planning and Accessibility Dennis Newman. “Once it is fully renovated and repurposed, Penn Station will serve as the prominent anchor for all future development that springs up on the adjacent properties while remaining the lively beating heart of the vibrant surrounding neighborhoods. We appreciate the support of Baltimore and the surrounding community during this transitional period as we work together to improve and preserve this treasured landmark.” 

Essential core and shell improvements, tentatively scheduled to start in Summer 2022, include masonry repairs, existing window refurbishment, a new roof, new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as updated elevators, stairs and ramps. 

“Watching this scaffolding go up and seeing this transformation start to unfold right before our eyes is an exciting development and a signal to everyone who passes through here that Penn Station’s best days are yet to come,” said Tim Pula, vice president of community development for Beatty Development Group. “We thank Amtrak and all of our local, state and federal partners for their continued collaboration and support. Together we will realize the full potential of this station not only as a major transportation hub and gateway to Baltimore City, but as an anchor for the equitable and socially responsible future growth of the surrounding neighborhoods.” 

Through adaptive reuse, the Penn Station Partners development team will respect the historical character of the station while introducing modern sensibility. 

Currently vacant, the three upper floors of the historic station will be refurbished for new office use, able to accommodate a single anchor tenant or multiple users. New elevators and restrooms are also part of the planned office redevelopment, slated to deliver in approximately summer 2023. 

Just over the tracks from Penn Station, a brand-new, state-of-the-art station expansion will be integrated with the existing station and with a new planned high-speed rail platform, modernizing functions and increasing capacity. Transit functions, such as ticketing and baggage, will be relocated to the new station expansion, freeing up the concourse level of Penn Station for commercial and retail uses. Construction of the new station expansion on the Lanvale lot is projected to start in fall 2022. 

Since the groundbreaking event last October, Amtrak has been working to finish the platform improvements at the station prior to construction to better accommodate Amtrak’s new Acela high-speed trains, increase track capacity, improve ride quality and offer greater reliability both locally and along the entire Northeast Corridor. These upgrades will improve on-time performance for high-speed train operations by providing route flexibility and allowing unimpeded travel. 

Additionally, to allow for greater operability of train service, Amtrak has rebuilt a low-level platform into an ADA compliant high-level platform and constructed a new platform. This work, along with a renewed overhead electrical system and an upgraded 30-mile stretch of track between Baltimore and Washington Union Station, will enable operation at higher speeds. 

Planning and development began in 2018 after Amtrak announced the Baltimore-based developer, Penn Station Partners, led by Beatty Development Group and Cross Street Partners, as the selected Baltimore Penn Station Master Developer. Originally built in 1911, the last major renovation of Penn Station was in 1984. Penn Station Partners has been working closely with Amtrak since 2017 to lead the historic preservation and state-of-the-art redevelopment of the station. 

Construction will continue in phases to complete the station renovation and expansion over the next few years.