Topgolf has paused new construction, but BDC still expects work on Baltimore location by the summer

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Image via Topgolf’s Facebook.

Back in mid-March, as COVID-19 started taking hold in the U.S., Topgolf joined most other businesses across the country by shutting down all its locations to help slow the spread of the virus.

That also included a pause in developing future locations of the company’s driving ranges, such as the one planned for Baltimore at a site between the Horseshoe Casino and M&T Bank Stadium.

“At this time, we are focused on preparing to re-open our existing venues when we can do so safely, responsibly and in compliance with local government guidelines,” said Kara Barry, head of communications for the Texas-based entertainment company. “As a result, we have temporarily halted construction on all of our new venues that were in the development process.”

Barry said the company hopes to reopen all its interactive driving ranges, which combine golf, live entertainment and dining out, and restart the development process for new ones soon.

But there is still no firm opening date for the Topgolf in Baltimore, she said.

Kimberly Clark, executive vice president of the quasi-public Baltimore Development Corporation, said the organization has no knowledge of any schedule changes, and that Topgolf will finalize its $7.9 million acquisition of land in South Baltimore in the summer and start construction.

The wheels are still in motion for the land deal, even as the pandemic continues. The city had to complete a number of actions before the transaction could be completed, one of which was constructing a new building for the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter to free up the parcel at 301 Stockholm St., Clark said.

Earlier this week, the city and the Baltimore Development Corporation announced the new 37,000-square-foot home for BARCS and Baltimore City Animal Control had been completed at 2490 Giles Road in Cherry Hill.

“Baltimore City Animal Services has needed a bigger facility for some time, and BDC was able to bring together public and private partners to make this project a reality for the city,” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said in a statement. “This beautiful new facility will enable Office of Animal Control and BARCS to expand their services to better protect the health and safety of both people and animals in Baltimore City.”

Jennifer Brause, founder and executive director of BARCS, said the new building would allow the organization to “care for 12,000 homeless, abused and neglected animals annually.”

Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the owner of the Horseshoe Baltimore, owns the parcel at 1400 Warner St. that would also be used for the complex. The casino has bought several other parcels in the hopes of building an entertainment district near between the Horseshoe and the stadium.

Clark said she expects final settlement on the former BARCS property to occur within the next 90 days.

Barry, of Topgolf, said the company is still in the process of getting entitlements, permits from the city and other government approvals.

Brandon Weigel

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