Sagamore Reveals Additional Plans for Port Covington

| June 3, 2015 | 3 Comments

Demian Costa of Plank Industries, Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank’s umbrella company for Sagamore Spirit, Sagamore Development, Sagamore Innovation, Sagamore Racing and Sagamore Creative, revealed a vison for Port Covington and Under Armour’s new campus at Tuesday night’s StartUp Soirée at Pixilated Photo Booth’s headquarters in Morrell Park.

“I’m heading to New York tomorrow, but first I wanted to show this off to the people making great things happen in this city. This is probably the most important audience I’ve ever been in front of,” said Costa at the StartUp Soirée, a monthly meetup from Intrinsic Events and Pixilated Photo Booth for Baltimore founders and entrepreneurs.

Sagamore Development has acquired 230 acres at Port Covington, the southern tip of the South Baltimore peninsula. The acquisitions include all of West Covington (west of Hanover St.), the Port Covington shopping center, The Baltimore Sun printing facility, Nick’s Fish House (now run by the team from The Starboard), and the Baltimore Yacht Basin.

photo 2Under Armour will be relocating to Port Covington from Locust Point’s Tide Point as the company builds a new campus with more than 3 million sq. ft. of office space. The company’s growth into Port Covington is already underway as it is fully converting the former Sam’s Club at the shopping center into a new 170,000 sq. ft. office building for its finance and IT department.

During last night’s event, Costa told a story about what led to some of the motivation behind building an incredible Baltimore campus. Kevin Plank was trying to lure an executive to Under Armour from Portland and, after some thought, the prospect replied, “My wife will leave me if I make her move to Baltimore.” That stuck with Plank and fueled a fire for what he wanted to create in the city.

“We need to put our flag in the ground here and build a great community so we can attract and retain talent,” said Costa.

When asked “Why Baltimore and Port Covington?” as opposed to the many suburban corporate campuses around the country, he said the answer was simple. “We’re going to be on the water, we’re in an amazing city, we’re close to downtown, and we’re a short ride to D.C. and Philly and a two-hour train ride to New York City. We’re also right next to the Port of Baltimore where our products are now going to be delivered. Geographically and logistically, it makes a lot of sense,” said Costa. He also noted that approximately 200,000 cars pass the site via I-95 each day, calling it a “front porch of Baltimore.”

photoThe next two projects for Sagamore Development at Port Covington will be the conversion of 101 West Dickman in West Covington to a project called City Garage and the construction of a distillery for Sagamore Spirit at a waterfront site between the shopping center and Tidewater Marina.

City Garage is named for the building’s former use as a garage for Baltimore City. The building was most recently used for police training exercises and was once eyed for a brewery. Sagamore Development has begun making extensive improvements to the outside of the building and the goal with the property is to bring more manufacturing back to Baltimore. City Garage will be the home of Under Armour’s Innovation Team, which is responsible for designing shoes, and a temporary home to bottle Sagamore Spirit rye whiskey, which will debut in January 2016. City Garage will also be the home of trades like glass blowing, blacksmiths, flag makers, metal workers and 3D printing. The 140,000 sq. ft. facility was described as a “collaborative space,” one which will be open for tours to local students and visitors.

Sagamore hopes to begin construction at Sagamore Spirit at the end of this year. The plan for the distillery includes four buildings that are designed to feel like a part of a waterfront park. This includes a 27,000 sq. ft. distillery building, a 22,000 sq. ft. processing building, a 10,000 sq. ft. restaurant, and a 2,000 sq. ft. support building, all of which will surround a green courtyard space. There will also be a 120-foot water tower which will hold water from the Sagamore Farm spring.

Sagamore_View02The plan also includes a waterfront promenade that could potentially be part of a much larger promenade, additional green landscaping, storm water collection areas, and two additional piers, which Sagamore is hoping to build five acres of additional park space on top of in the future. Sagamore Spirit is currently working through the architectural review process with the Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP).

When asked about creating jobs for those in need in Baltimore, Costa pointed to many future opportunities at Sagamore Spirit.

Sagamore Development also has plans for future housing developments at Port Covington.

Addressing the current lack of pedestrian activity along Hanover St. between the South Baltimore Neighborhood and the area, Costa said they will immediately look to build a bike and pedestrian trail from Swann Park past the Schuster Concrete site, through West Covington, and along to Nick’s Fish House. Costa noted that pedestrian access is incredibly important and a passion of his as an avid cyclist. The Department of Transportation is launching a $1.8 million study at the end of this year to research improvements to Hanover St. and the Hanover Street Bridge.

With the unveiling of some plans for Port Covington, questions were asked about the future of Tide Point in Locust Point, the home of Under Armour’s current campus, which the company owns. Costa said they are unsure what will happen there in the future, whether they will sell, lease, keep, or redevelop it.

The presentation included a sizzle reel, renderings, and more than an hour of discussion about the future of Port Covington. “This is going to happen, we are never leaving,” said Costa. “We are psyched and we hope you are too.”

The presentation ended with a loud ovation and a room filled with founders, entrepreneurs and innovators who were even more excited about the future of Baltimore.

This is a modified version of the article that originally appeared on 6/3/15.

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