Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Development Purchases 43-Acre Westport Waterfront Parcel in South Baltimore

| July 14, 2015 | 2 Comments

Back CameraIn June, Sagamore Development, owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, announced it had acquired 230 acres of real estate in South Baltimore’s Port Covington and around the Middle Branch. Last week, it confirmed that land includes the 43-acre waterfront parcel in Westport, which was once eyed for Turner Development’s Westport Waterfront development.

Sagamore released the following statement in response to the many media inquiries it has received since the property was sold at auction in January for $6 million:

We can confirm that an affiliate of Sagamore Development has acquired 43 acres in Westport. While specific land use plans have yet to be developed, Westport is part of Sagamore’s cohesive vision for the Middle Branch and vital to the economic development, transportation connections and diverse culture of South Baltimore and the broader region.

The Turner Development project began in 2004, proposing 2 million sq. ft. of office space, 300,000 sq. ft.of retail, and 2,000 residential units, but never moved forward after Turner Development demolished the existing buildings and remediated some of the existing land. The property fell into foreclosure before finally being auctioned in January.

The property is located just across the Middle Branch from West Covington and Swann Park, and is connected by the Spring Gardens Bridge that is no longer in use as a railroad bridge. Plans for the Westport Waterfront development proposed converting that bridge for pedestrian use, creating a more than five mile loop around the Middle Branch. The proposed loop would include the Hanover Street Bridge; Middle Branch Park, which already has a path as part of the Gwynns Falls Trail; the promenade of the to-be-constructed Westport Waterfront; a rehabilitation of Spring Gardens Bridge; and, a path to be constructed through West Covington.

Middle Branch Loop Master Plan from Turner Development

Middle Branch Loop Master Plan from Turner Development

Sagamore now controls most of West Covington, where trails at the soon-to-open West Covington Park have been constructed, as well as Westport Waterfront, the properties that are key to making this connection and the loop possible. The future of the Hanover Street Bridge is also being studied as part of the Hanover Street Bridge Multimodal Corridor Plan, which will study whether to improve or replace the bridge. Part of the plan calls for increased pedestrian accessibility on the bridge and on Hanover Street.

This loop is also part of Baltimore City’s Bicycle Master Plan.

Sagamore’s acquisitions at Port Covington include most 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. Under 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.

photoThey are also currently converting 101 West Dickman, a former city garage, into a project called City Garage. Sagamore 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.

Later this summer, Sagamore will begin construction on a distillery for Sagamore Spirit at a waterfront site between the shopping center and Tidewater Marina. 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 Port Covington 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 recently received approval from the Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP).

Additional plans for Port Covington are expected to be revealed at a UDARP meeting at the end of the summer.

About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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