Sagamore Development Company, the real estate arm of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, is expanding its domain near the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River without buying more land.
It has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Baltimore Department of Transportation to assume maintenance and landscaping of three parcels along two city-owned roads.
The roads provide access to City Garage, the manufacturing center and innovation hub Sagamore is building at 101 West Dickman Street.
The Board of Estimates is expected tomorrow to approve the MOU, which retains municipal ownership of the three parcels but allows Sagamore to maintain the sites.
The properties are a triangular lot known as 2400 South Hanover Street at the main entrance to the City Garage, a property the city refers to as “the right of way at East Cromwell Street median,” and a triangular median near the intersection of Hanover and McComas streets.
The benefit of the MOU to the city, according to one official, is that it relieves DOT of the expense of maintaining the property.
For Plank, the agreement gives his company the ability to control the appearance of land leading to the new innovation hub.
[UPDATED, Wed, Oct. 7 – The spending board unanimously approved the MOU this morning with the added stipulation that all improvements made by Sagamore “be subject to city approval.”]
“Sagamore Development is committed to creating a world-class waterfront experience at Port Covington. As part of that commitment, we have agreed to clean up, improve and maintain the sites,” Sagamore spokesman John Maroon said in an email today.
The MOU is effective for 10 years, once the board approves it, and Sagamore has an option to renew the arrangement for an additional 10 years.
Amassing Waterfront Land
Sagamore held a preview event at City Garage last Thursday. In preparation for the event, the median at 2400 South Hanover Street was landscaped to create a more attractive entrance to the massive complex, created within the shell of a former vehicle repair garage once owned by the city.
Over the last two years, Plank’s Sagamore has aggressively acquired 240 acres along the Middle Branch, including land that will be used to build a new corporate headquarters for Under Armour.
Representatives for the Department of Recreation and Parks confirmed last month that Sagamore has expressed interest in controlling two public parks along the Middle Branch – Ferry Bar Park at the tip of Port Covington and Swann Park at the foot of McComas Street.
A Recreation and Parks spokesperson said Sagamore discussed its commitment to build public water access points “larger and better designed” than the current park facilities.
The city is also in the process of selling a portion of the former bed of Dickman Street to Sagamore, and has reached a “traffic mitigation agreement” involving the City Garage property.
The traffic agreement – up for spending board approval tomorrow – calls on a Sagamore affiliate to make a one-time contribution of $54,946 to the city to fund “multimodal transportation improvements” in the vicinity of the City Garage.