Here's a photo of Sam's Club, blocking the waterfront behind it. There's also lots of land left over.
Here is a look at a waterfront view from the rear of Sam's Club that hardly anyone gets to see.
Finally, there is the fact that Port Covington is so huge that even with a couple of giant blotches like the Sun and Wal-Mart, there is still plenty of space to work with. The security fence surrounding the Sun printing plant site can be significantly tightened up, essentially treating it as a buffer in a manner similar to the very secure Federal Reserve Bank compound in Otterbein. This would free up a vast amount of new acreage for development.
The entrance to Wal-Mart has a great perpendicular view of the waterfront, so that can be exploited. Wal-Mart's parking lot is the key to creating an urban environment. It is now essentially a "land bank" for creating a new urbanism out of the old asphalt wasteland. With Sam's Club out of the way, this will become valuable waterfront land with real streets, buildings oriented to the streets and the water, and decked parking.
CREATING AN URBAN IDENTITY
Then there is Nick's Fish House (pictured above), wedged on a very isolated piece of the waterfront between the Locke Insulator complex and the Hanover Street Bridge. It's oldie and moldy enough so that some legends could be written about it, and these legends could serve the purposes for creating human interest whether they are true or not. Currently, HBO's "The Wire" is using Nick's Fish House as a production staging area, so maybe the legends are being written up right now. The next step would be to adapt the legends for the new development marketing campaigns.
The "jughandle" at the intersection of Hanover and Cromwell Streets cannot carry much more traffic than it does now, and converting it to a normal intersection with left turn lanes would be much worse, especially for traffic coming off of I-95. It would also be exceedingly expensive to widen the Hanover Street bridge to add capacity.
The original Port Covington plan from the 1980s called for new roads to be built north of Cromwell Street, including an underpass under Hanover Street where railroad tracks used to go (see photo above taken from Dickman Street west of Hanover). This would create a new unimpeded connection between the portions of Port Covington on either side of Hanover Street, and provide a route for traffic to divert away from the jughandle.
It indeed appears to be feasible to build an extension of either Light or Charles Street, or even both, southward from the Riverside Park neighborhood of South Baltimore into Port Covington. Both streets are slightly higher than the CSX freight tracks just beyond where the streets now end south of Wells Street, and there is sufficient room to build overpasses over the tracks.
This photo shows where such a new Charles Street extension would go as it enters Port Covington, just south of I-95. It could use either an existing underpass under McComas Street (shown above at left) or it could intersect McComas at-grade. The underpass is now occupied by a railroad track which once connected from the Western Maryland yard to the CSX Locust Point Branch. The track is still usable but does not look like it is much used, if ever. The Sun plant has a freight siding (shown above at right), just as the downtown Sun plant once had on Guilford Street. The new southward extension of Charles Street, Light Street (or the combination of both) could easily share the McComas underpass with the freight track.
A streetcar line would be the ultimate unifier for Port Covington.