Sagamore Development Will “Aggressively Pursue” New Amazon Headquarters for Port Covington

| September 7, 2017 | 0 Comments

Amazon sent waves through the business world on Thursday morning by issuing an RFP for a second headquarters in North America.

From Amazon, “Amazon HQ2 will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. We expect to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.”

Amazon’s Seattle headquarters features 33 buildings, 8.1 million sq. ft., 40,000 employees, and 24 restaurants/cafes according to the RFP. Amazon has paid $43 million into the Seattle public transportation and estimates it attracts 233,000 hotel nights by guests visiting Amazon and 53,000 additional jobs as a result of its investment.

From the RFP:

In choosing the location for HQ2, Amazon has a preference for:
- Metropolitan areas with more than one million people
–  A stable and business-friendly environment
–  Urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent
–  Communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options

HQ2 could be, but does not have to be:
- An urban or downtown campus
- A similar layout to Amazon’s Seattle campus
- A development-prepped site. We want to encourage states/provinces and communities to think creatively for viable real estate options, while not negatively affecting our preferred timeline

The RFP also requires the site to be within 45 minutes to an international airport, proximity to major highways and arterial roads, and on-site mass transit. Amazon is initially requiring more than 500,000 sq. ft. of space, with room to grow to 8,000,000 sq. ft.

Proposals from cities and developers from all over the continent are expected, but one Baltimore project is already making its push in the form of Sagamore Development Company, which is just getting underway on its 235-acre, $5.5 billion development in South Baltimore’s Port Covington. Sagamore is owned by Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank.

Marc Weller, President of Sagamore Development Company, released the following statement to SouthBMore.com:

“More than any other place in the country, Baltimore City and Port Covington would be a perfect home for Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. Port Covington has the available land with a prime waterfront location on the east coast, adjacent to I-95, with ready access to international airports, rail, ports and other distribution points. Greater Baltimore boasts an entrepreneurial, creative and diverse local workforce that is growing every year and could easily support the 50,000 jobs needed for Amazon to fill. Along with Under Armour, having another major innovative company’s headquarters at Port Covington would be a huge boon for Baltimore City and its workforce. We will work with state and local officials to aggressively pursue this opportunity.”

Baltimore leaders are already pitching Baltimore for this opportunity.

Councilman Eric Costello took to Twitter saying, “Dear , please come to Baltimore City. We’ve already successfully worked together, we can and we will do it again!”

“I’ve already met with Bill Cole and we are excited by Amazon’s latest announcement and will pursue this opportunity aggressively to make a compelling case for Baltimore City as its second headquarter location,” said Mayor Catherine Pugh in a statement.

“Baltimore’s strategic location in the Mid-Atlantic and its accessibility via highway, rail, port and air, make us a great fit for Amazon’s second headquarters. Also, we’ve worked with Amazon in the past when they opened their distribution center and they know that we can be a good partner,” said William H. Cole, president & CEO of Baltimore Development Corporation in a statement. 

Amazon currently has a 1,000,000 sq. ft. fulfillment center in Southeast Baltimore.

RFP responses are due by October 19, 2017.

Sagamore’s plan for Port Covington includes Under Armour’s 50-acre, 3.9 million sq. ft. global headquarters at the former Port Covington Shopping Center; 1,500,000 sq. ft. of destination, attraction, entertainment, and specialty retail; 500,000 sq. ft. of “maker” and industrial/light manufacturing space; 200-plus hotel rooms; 1,500,000 sq. ft. of office space (in addition to the Under Armour Global Headquarters); and civic and cultural uses including 40-plus acres of public parks, a public waterfront, and other public facilities. It also includes more than 7,500 residential units, which could total up to 14,000 units comprised of rental and for-sale properties at various price-points, and potential sites for a post office, school, library, fire station, police paddock, and cultural center.

For transportation and infrastructure, Sagamore is planning a light rail spur along McComas St. from Westport with three new stops; redevelopment of Hanover St., McComas St., and Cromwell St.; I-95 on-ramp and off-ramp modifications; bike share stations; three water taxi stops; and a site circulator that could be rail or bus. New on-street cycle lanes have already been installed in Port Covington.

Already completed at Port Covington is City Garage, a 133,000 sq. ft. former garage facility which is fully leased and described as “a hub for manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship;” Building 37, which converted the former Sam’s Club into a 170,000 sq. ft. Under Armour office building and amenity space; 240 W. Dickman St., which is undergoing renovations and will be the home of workforce development non-profits, including CityWide Youth Development and Potential ME; and the four-building Sagamore Spirit whiskey distillery. Phase I of Under Armour’s new 50-acre campus is expected to be the next major construction project in Port Covington. 

Rendering courtesy of Sagamore Development

Screenshot courtesy of Apple Maps

Rendering courtesy of Sagamore Development  (click to enlarge)

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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 Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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