We’ve been proud to work with The Center Club for many years, which makes it even easier to congratulate them on their recent renovations. We must say, everything looks great! Amanda Yeager, a reporter for the Baltimore Business Journal has written an awesome recap of the members-only club remodel and learns first hand details from the president of the club’s Board of Governors. Read her full article below.
On the Center Club’s 16th floor, dark wood panels are out — and lighter walls, comfortable seating and eye-catching light fixtures are in.
The members-only club, located on the 15th and 16th floors of the Transamerica tower in downtown Baltimore, wrapped up the first phase of a $2.5 million renovation project last week that transformed the look of the 16th floor and expanded the amount of space available for hosting events there.
“We wanted it lighter, brighter and prettier,” Patricia J. “PJ” Mitchell, president of the club’s Board of Governors, said Monday. “We knew we needed to invest and bring this into a more competitive space.”
While the club has always been a go-to for events, it has seen increased competition in recent years from hotels like the Four Seasons in Harbor East and the Sagamore Pendry in Fells Point, Mitchell said. When club leadership decided to extend its lease for another 10 years at 100 Light St., they knew they had to freshen up the space.
Work on the first phase of renovations shut down the club for three weeks between mid-June and the Fourth of July. The 16th floor remained closed until Friday, when it reopened for a rehearsal dinner — the first event in the updated space.
White and gold walls have replaced dark wood paneling, and a bar behind the winding staircase leading to the 16th floor has now become a lounge with sofas and armchairs. New lights and carpeting have been installed throughout the space.
Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. and Mahogany Inc. collaborated on the construction, while Hall & Co. Inc. handled interior design. Architecture firm Callison RTKL designed the project.
The renovations also added more room for events. There’s now more than 10,000 square feet of space available among three rooms, said Nancy Sloane, the Center Club’s director of membership and marketing. That’s enough to accommodate 400 people standing or 350 seated. The spaces can also be sectioned off to host more intimate events.
The extra event space takes the place of a coat closet, restrooms and telephone booth. New restrooms have been installed behind the Orioles Pub, where administrative offices and a pool room used to be. The pub, which opened in 2015, was not part of the renovations.
The club already has some bookings into 2021, according to general manager Kevin Bonner. He and Mitchell hope the updates will convince more people to join the club, which had more than 2,100 members — its largest membership in 20 years — in 2017.
“We think this renovation will definitely spark interest in the club,” Bonner said. “When you invest this kind of time and resources, people want to see it, be a part of it.”
Part of that effort also involves hosting events like jazz nights and holiday brunches. The club’s millennial and empty-nester membership is growing, Mitchell said, and both those groups are looking for social engagements as part of their club membership.
“It’s really a city club in action,” she said.
A second phase of renovations will launch next year. Mitchell said that work will be focused on refreshing the 15th floor with new furniture, window treatments, rugs and color schemes. It’s an investment in the club’s future as well as in the future of the city’ s business district, she said.
“We’re in downtown, we’re staying downtown, we’re committed to being in this city.”
Want to see more of the Center Club? View additional renovation photos by clicking here.