Located in the heart of Downtown Baltimore, Inner Harbor is one of the nation’s oldest seaports, a hub for tourism, and a famous city landmark. Inner Harbor is “the model for post-industrial waterfront redevelopment around the world,” according to the Urban Land Institute.
More than 21,000 people work in the Inner Harbor, each year about 14 million people visit the harbor, and the district generated about $2.3 billion in overall economic activity in 2012 alone. Working in the Inner Harbor means working alongside other key Downtown Baltimore companies such as T. Rowe Price, Under Armour, Legg Mason, PNC, Pandora, and R2i.
Inner Harbor Office Space | Lease Data and Trends
Inner Harbor is located in Downtown Baltimore, the 11th-largest downtown in the nation. However, compared to its peers, the submarket presents affordable office space options for businesses of all sizes. Inner Harbor and Harbor East office space seekers can expect to find rental prices averaging just under $23.50 per square foot.
The Class A asking rents hover above $26 per square foot, while Class B offices lease for around $20 per square foot.
What Our Brokers Say About Inner Harbor Office Space for Rent
Inner Harbor refers to not just the waterfront area but to the Inner Harbor district overall. Lombard Street borders Inner Harbor to the north, Key Highway to the south, President Street to the east, and Greene Street to the west.
Inner Harbor is not only a “walker’s paradise” and a biker’s dream but also has an excellent public transportation network. A popular, affordable, and unique public transportation is the water taxi, which connects passengers to Fells Point, Canton, and Fort McHenry. The Charm City Circulator is a green transportation option that provides free bus system shuttles that stop every 10 to 15 minutes. The light rail has two stops in Downtown Baltimore: one on Lexington Street and one on Baltimore Street.
Other public nearby public transportation options include Metro, Amtrak, and MARC Train. The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Essex Skypark Airport are both located in Baltimore.
In part because Inner Harbor is such a popular tourist destination, it has excellent dining, shopping, and parks. Schedule your next business lunch or event at one of these TripAdvisor-recommended restaurants: Bistro 300, Watertable, M&S Grill, Rosina Gourmet, or Chef Paolino. Harbor East, Harborplace, and The Gallery Mall offer excellent shopping destinations.
Inner Harbor’s waterfront parks include Harbor Point Central Plaza, Pierce’s Park, and West Shore Park. Popular tourist destinations in Inner Harbor include the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Maryland Science Center, Harborplace and the Gallery, the “top of the world” at the Baltimore World Trade Center, and the Holocaust Memorial. Sports fans can take a short walk to Camden Yards to see a Baltimore Orioles or Baltimore Ravens Game or visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum.
State and city leaders directed Inner Harbor’s development into the economic and tourism hub it is today. In November 2013, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake introduced Inner Harbor 2.0, a master plan to develop Inner Harbor to “best meet the needs of today and tomorrow.” The plan outlined steps to increase the quality of open spaces, update landscaping, increase transportation options by the waterfront, and increase tourism to attractions and amenities in the area.
Downtown Baltimore’s five largest industry sectors are healthcare and social assistance; public administration; professional, scientific, and technical services; accommodation and food services; and finance and insurance. About 25% of the working population is part of the healthcare/social assistance sector. Downtown Baltimore’s tech sector has been growing recently as well; the district’s Core Tech & Innovation generates $830 million in compensation every year.
In Inner Harbor, the technology industry has been gaining traction in the marine and environmental field with the addition of some new research and co-working spaces. In fact, two of the most exciting recent business developments in Inner Harbor are Harbor Launch at IMET and a new Spaces location. Harbor Launch at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology is a startup incubator and community for science and science support companies, and Spaces is a creative workspace provider.
Inner Harbor History
The city of Baltimore got its name from Lord Baltimore (Cecilius Calvert) in the Irish House of Lords. Modern settlers came here as early as the 17th century. In the beginning, Baltimore was just a town and only had sixty lots. After a lot of expansion and developments, Baltimore became a city in 1779.
Though Baltimore became a major U.S. seaport in the 18th century, Inner Harbor had not yet been dredged and couldn’t handle large ships. Such ships and their cargo thus went to Locust Point, Fell’s Point, or Canton instead. Lots of old harbors were abandoned then adapted for use as business, tourism, and housing spaces. For the Inner Harbor, that meant developers tore down many of the warehouses and piers in the area and instead landscaped large open areas intended for recreational use. Inner Harbor transformed so flawlessly into a hub for business and tourism that it become a model for urban renaissance across the globe.
Recent Economic Development
The Charles Center project, a 33-acre renewal project in Inner Harbor, accounted for much of the economic improvement in the area. Office buildings, hotels, and retail shops were built or rebuilt between 1958 and 1965. Mayor Theodore McKeldin continued the city’s improvements in 1963 with his redevelopment program intended to improve 240 acres and add parks, corporate headquarters, and hotels.
By the 1970s and 1980s, Baltimore had not only become a global tourist destination but had also gained recognition from the American Institute of Architects as “one of the supreme achievements of large-scale urban design and development in U.S. history.” Even today, Baltimore thought leaders and developers continue to improve the Inner Harbor area. Though nearly all of the available land has been developed, developers are still finding ways to update existing structures and open spaces in Inner Harbor. One of the most recent projects involved installing safety features around the waterfront.