City Dock

Creating a Resilient Annapolis’ Waterfront

Protecting the past, present, and future of Annapolis City Dock

Starting in 2019, nearly 100 Annapolis resident stakeholders, business leaders, and subject matter experts were brought together through the City Council-appointed City Dock Action Committee (CDAC) to address the urgent issue of more frequent and more intense flooding in Annapolis’ historic downtown waterfront.

Through a series of public meetings and work sessions, the group identified a clear path forward for action to reimagine Annapolis City Dock as a more resilient and inviting public space. The City Dock consensus plan calls for transforming the existing asphalt, an environmentally unsustainable heat island, into an elevated active park with resiliency features that run from Gate 0 to Newman Street.

The new City Dock will create a hub that brings people together and provides direct access to the water for all. The City’s rich and diverse history will be honored and celebrated throughout the park and promenade. The new Annapolis City Dock will be a beacon to the rest of the world that resiliency infrastructure work can be both practical and beautiful (and achievable!)

Construction on resiliency work at Annapolis City Dock is anticipated to begin in Winter of 2024/2025.

FEATURES: On the City Dock side, this $71* million infrastructure project, funded through federal and state grants and the Public Private Partnership (P3) concession payment from the rebuild of Hillman Garage, will help protect Historic Downtown from the impacts of flooding for the next century. On the Compromise Street side, a $16* million pumping project will be installed to push the water away from roads and buildings.

*Estimated figures – subject to change due to factors including labor and materials.

The Vision

We see the need for a better city dock


Annapolis sits at the convergence of two simultaneous phenomena. We have both more frequent and more intense flooding, especially in low-lying areas like City Dock. At the same time, land subsidence has caused the ground under Annapolis to sink. These two problems have made the issue of resiliency both real and urgent.


Annapolis has long needed a backyard – one that is welcoming for everyone, and that’s what we’re building here. We want to improve the downtown experience for our residents, businesses and visitors. We’re looking to build one of the best parks in the country – a vibrant fusion of energy, light, and of course, plenty of water.


Annapolis is surrounded by water, but access to the water is often limited. The new City Dock Park will offer access to the water for everyone. We’re building a hub that will allow more equitable access to the water. And with free ferry service made possible by a $3 million federal grant, we’re looking to connect disadvantaged communities to the water and to downtown amenities. 


Annapolis has a long history by American standards. In the colonial era and during the Revolutionary period, America’s Founding Fathers gathered in Annapolis to strategize on the war effort and plan for America’s future. Sorrowfully, Annapolis City Dock was once a stop along the Middle Passages, where human cargo was sold just steps from the harbor. Our City has also been a bustling waterman’s port, a parking lot, a fuel depot, a residential neighborhood, a park, a retail and commercial area, and more. One thing City Dock has always been is a place that adapts to ever-changing needs. 

City Dock Moving Foward

  1. 2019

    March 20 – Mayor Gavin Buckley hosts Kick Off of Dock Action Committee (video)
    Dec. 4 – Baltimore Business Journal: $50 Million Redevelopment of City Dock Eyed in Annapolis

  2. 2020

    January 14 – Transforming City Dock Report (PDF)
    June 30 – Capital Gazette: Two finalists for massive City Dock-Hillman garage project bring familiar names to Annapolis (paywall to content)
    Dec. 12 – PR Wire: Consortium Led by Hunt & Amber Signs Predevelopment Agreement with the City of Annapolis

  3. 2021

    Transforming City Dock envisions a reinvigorated and welcoming City Dock where people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy Annapolis’ stunning waterfront.
    Feb. 25, 2021 – Joint Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission Meeting (PDF)
    March 25, 2021 – City Dock Action Committee presentation (PDF)

  4. 2022

    Rebuild of the Hillman Garage (video) begins in March. The first phase of the City Dock project, the new garage nets a $24 million concession payment to begin downtown resiliency work. The new garage also helps with resiliency by slowing and cooling storm water runoff, with 125 percent storm water capture (the old garage had zero). The new garage also has solar arrays on the roof, generating enough electricity to power all downtown municipal buildings (and then some). The gateless garage prevents back ups in the garage during busy downtown events.

  5. 2023

    May 18 – Presentation to the Planning Commission (PDF)
    June 8 – City Council Work Session (PDF)
    June 14 – Hillman Garage Reopens (video)
    November 1-29 – City Dock project managers

  6. 2024

    January 18 – Planning Commission Meeting (video)
    March 12/28 – Historic Preservation Public Hearing (video)
    Following the Fall Boat Show, Phase I work will begin. This phase involves electrical work along Dock Street from Craig Street (and including) Susan Campbell Park. There will be no road closures or parking restrictions during this time EXCEPT for intermittent closures (for trenching, high voltage work, etc.).

  7. 2025

    Phase II will involve the closure of Dock Street (from Craig Street to Susan Campbell Park). This area will be fenced off. Detours will be posted. Watermark Tours will continue their operations out of the docks in front of Burtis House. This work will take approximately 12 months to complete and will be finalized in time for the Fall 2025 boat shows. Parking will remain available from Randall Street to Craig Street (with some temporary closures due to the need to move equipment in and out of the construction site). Parkers will be redirected to Hillman Garage.
    Phase III will involve the installation of flood gates along Ego Alley and the realignment of storm drains below the roadway on the upper Dock Street parking lot. The area at the top of Ego Alley (around Alex Haley statue) will be closed to foot traffic, and the Donner parking lot on Compromise Street will close. City Dock Park and Susan Campbell Park will be open to the public with access via Prince George Street. Watermark Tours will resume operations from their berth at Susan Campbell Park.

  8. 2026

    The final phases (IV-VI) of the project involve the Compromise Street side where flood control pumps will be installed and a pump house will be built behind the Guardians of the First Amendment Memorial (Newman Street at Compromise Street).


You ask. We Answer

When is the City Dock project set to start?

Major construction including parking restrictions and road closures will begin in the Winter of 2024/2025.  You may see surveyors, engineers and electricians preparing the site for construction as early as this Spring, 2024.

How is City Dock Being Funded?

The City earned a $24 million concession payment from the rebuild and 30-year operations advance for Hillman Garage (a public-private partnership). Additional funding came from the federal government in the form of earmarks (directed congressional allocation), FEMA grants and directed state funding from the Maryland legislature and governor.

What benefit is this going to have on the community?

City Dock experiences regular flooding that impacts residents, commerce and infrastructure. For that reason, one benefit will be to protect those downtown assets from the frequent and regular impacts of flooding. In addition, the downtown visitor experience will be drastically improved.

Why not raise the bulkhead/seawall instead of having deployable flood gates? 

Raising the bulkhead would block the view to the water and destroy the character of City Dock Park. In addition, putting a 6-8 foot tall seawall in a built maritime environment could create a hazard to boaters.  

What will the end result be?

The end result will be a world-class park that will serve residents, businesses and visitors. The park will be a bulwark to protect assets further up City Dock from the impacts of more frequent and more intense flooding events.

What will the process look like?

The work will be conducted in phases. This will limit the impact on downtown overall, but will also help to scale of the project to make it more manageable in scope.

How will this project impact parking?

About 90 parking spaces from Dock Street will be eliminated. Those spaces have been more than offset by additional parking spaces being added at the rebuilt Hillman Garage (+165). The loss of parking will also eliminate a good amount of impervious surface in an area immediately adjacent to Spa Creek, helping with stormwater runoff which heats and pollutes the waterway.

Why don’t you just close all of the storm drains if that is one of the points of intrustion?

Currently, the storm drains are closed. The plan is to realign the storm drains to allow gravity to do the work that the temporary pumps are doing. 

What can residents and visitors expect during construction?

The initial phase of construction will have minimal impact on the day-to-day lives of downtown residents and businesses. Phase II will have a more significant impact due to the loss of parking and limited access to Ego Alley and Susan Campbell Park. Please note that all of these inconveniences are temporary.

How will we remain informed?

Updates about the construction will be available by signing up for the City Dock newsletter.

What is being done to keep interest in downtown high?

Construction will be conducted in phases to limit overall disruption. In addition, a marketing campaign has been deployed to help educate residents, visitors and businesses to the work and the phasing of the project. We all understand that an infrastructure of this magnitude will cause disruption. But the prize at the end will be worth it! We can all look forward to a resilient, protected and historic City Dock that is prepared for the future!

What will happen to the boat show, the singer-songwriter festival, the Kunte Kinte Festival and other events that take place at City Dock?

The park has been designed in consultation with the most popular special events and the design will not only protect these events from flood events, but should also improve accommodations for special events.

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