Design Plans Unveiled for Under Armour’s Port Covington Campus

| May 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

Today, Under Armour and its design team revealed architectural designs for the first major phase of its new global headquarters campus in Port Covington to Baltimore City Planning Department’s Urban Design & Architecture Advisory Panel (UDAAP). This phase will add a five-story 280,000 sq. ft. office, retail, and fitness building currently being called Teammate Building 2 (TMB2); a track and field facility; and new green spaces.

Under Armour’s design team for the campus includes Gensler, Nelson Byrd Waltz Landscape Architects, and Kimley-Horn.

Under Armour’s new campus replaces the shuttered Port Covington shopping center that only ever featured a Sam’s Club and Walmart. Walmart closed in 2016 and Sam’s Club closed in 2007, just five years after opening. The Sam’s Club was transformed into a 170,000 sq. ft. office building called Building 37 that opened in 2016. The former Walmart building (Building 96) still stands and has been used for warehouse sales, PPE manufacturing, town halls, and retail mockup stores.

Under Armour’s transition from Locust Point to its new Port Covington campus will happen in three phases. The first phase is for UA LightHouse, which is currently at City Garage, to relocate to Building 37 this summer. Building 37 will be home to Under Armour’s product innovation and technical design teams. Under Armour vacated Building 37 in early-2020 so renovations could begin.

The second phase, which is also underway, is the construction of a NCAA-regulation track and field facility with a multi-sport playing field on land just east of Building 37. This facility will serve primarily as a testing ground for Under Armour’s innovation, product development, and sports marketing. The athletic facility will also be available to Under Armour team members and the greater Baltimore community through shared-use agreements and special events. It will have bleachers with a solar powered canopy overtop and a seating capacity of 1,400. It will open later this year.

The track and field facility will have TMB2 to the north, Building 37 to the east, and bleachers to the west. The grading will be built up in the corners of the stadium to give it the “feeling of a bowl.” This will also provide an overlook from a plaza coming out of TMB2.

A regulation-sized basketball court will be situated between TMB2 and Building 37. Through grading improvements, it will have amphitheater-type seating around it.

TMB2 will be at the northern section of the property near E. Cromwell St. and the Port Covington development. Plans for TMB2 show an east-west oriented, five-story, approximately 75 ft. tall office building.

TMB2, which Under Armour hopes to start construction on late this year and have fully open by the end of 2024, has a focus on sustainable design and has the look of a “futuristic stadium,” according to Vaki Mawema, principal and co-managing director of Gensler Baltimore.

The first floor of TMB2 will have a two-story, 30,000 sq. ft. Under Armour Brand House retail store. This will have a northwest orientation that aligns with the street grid of the future phase of the Port Covington development. There will additionally be a two-story, 30,000 sq. ft. fitness-oriented performance center with a southwest orientation.

The upper four floors will be office space designed to “promote collaboration.”

The front of the building will have a ETFE fabric to give it a stadium look, and the back of the building facing the track and field facility will be all glass engineered to reduce solar heat. There will be a terrace on the backside of the building overlooking the track and field.

The front of the building will be up-lit with different festive colors throughout the year.

TMB2 will be constructed using mass timber geothermal and water-reduction technology. Under Armour designed the building with the goal of achieving a net-zero operation “through the significant reduction of embodied and operational carbon.”

The building is designed to qualify for LEED-Platinum certification.

It will have solar panels on the top roof, a green roof on the Brand House and Performance Center, sun shades on the glass, rainwater harvesting, and geothermal heating and cooling underground.

There will be educational signage throughout the campus about its energy-saving design.

“TMB2 represents Under Armour’s commitment to providing our teammates with an innovative, collaborative and flexible work environment that supports our hybrid work philosophy,” said Under Armour President and CEO Patrik Frisk in a press release. “Consistent with one of our values to ‘Act Sustainably,’ TMB2 speaks to our focus on performance, consumers, the planet, and the community we call home.”

“Gensler is honored to partner with Under Armour to bring TMB2 to life in Baltimore,” said Mawema. “The design reflects Under Armour’s deep commitment to building a more resilient global community.”

Gensler Senior Associate JJ Rivers said this will building will be “an icon” in Baltimore.

Between Building 37 and TMB2, Under Armour will have up to 1,500 employees on site.

A path system will connect the campus to Sagamore Spirit distillery, an overlook will be constructed near the wharf, and several new plazas will be added around TMB2. A lot of grading changes will be made to the currently-flat site.

The parking lots are planned mostly along the west and south sides of the track and field facility, but there will also be a small retail parking lot on the north side of the property near E. Cromwell St.

A bridge along E. Crowell St. will allow pedestrians to walk across existing bioretention plantings. Port Covington Dr., which used to run down the middle of the shopping center, has been eliminated.

A lot of trees will be added south of the track and field facility between the parking lot and Building 96. Neil Jurgens, senior vice president of real estate at Under Armour,  said this will “somewhat obscure” the former Walmart building.

W. Peninsula Dr., which separates Under Armour from a a proposed residential real estate development by 28 Walker, will be lined with trees.

Jurgens said the wharf that runs southwest along the edge of the campus is old and not ready for pubic use or for boats. Under Armour is pulling its walkway setback from the water’s edge.

Phase Two of Under Armour’s campus will be the development of the parking lot in between the track and field facility and Building 96. Phase Three will be the redevelopment of Building 96. A timeline was not given for these phases.

Jurgens said Under Armour’s goal is to never build structured parking at the campus. In previous plans, a large parking garage was to be constructed along W. Peninsula Dr.

UDAAP panelists praised the TMB2 building design, but said the entrance from Cromwell St. and the land north of the building needed work.

Under Armour owns the Tide Point facility in Locust Point which makes up part of its current campus. Tide Point is 14.6 acres and has 406,569 sq. ft. of buildings. The company will look to sell this property, but it is not yet on the market, according to Jurgens.

Under Armour also leases a former warehouse, which was turned into an office building, across the street. The company will let the lease expire on that building.

Renderings courtesy of Under Armour and Gensler

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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