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Amtrak breaks ground on Penn Station redevelopment

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott at the groundbreaking Friday. Credit: Sarah Y. Kim/WYPR
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott at the groundbreaking Friday. Credit: Sarah Y. Kim/WYPR

Baltimore City and state officials broke ground Friday on the redevelopment of Baltimore’s historic Penn Station. Amtrak, which owns the station, is pouring $150 million into the project.

Amtrak President Stephen Gardner said this project demonstrates Amtrak’s dedication to the future of Baltimore.

“We are going to redevelop this station, and with that create an expanded opportunity for future growth and ridership, a vastly improved customer experience and revitalized civic space that's woven into the fabric of this great community,” he said.

Built in 1911, Penn Station is the city’s primary transportation hub and was last renovated in 1984 as part of the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project. According to Amtrak, more than 3 million Amtrak and MARC riders pass through the station each year.

Gov. Larry Hogan said the project will be more than a “modernized station” for passengers.

“The long term vision of this site includes new office space, retail, residential and hotel space, which will bring jobs, hope and new opportunities to this community,” Hogan said.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said his administration strongly supports the project for making transportation more affordable and accessible, and bringing jobs to young city residents.

“This redevelopment, to this big, beautiful, historic and iconic building will transform Penn Station and the surrounding neighborhood into a lively 24/7 hub that our community residents, our anchor institutions like University of Baltimore and MICA, and civic leaders can be proud of,” Scott said.

Other officials present included Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressman Kweisi Mfume.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.