Under Armour Expands Distribution Footprint—Again

The Baltimore County facility will be a milestone for one of the largest redevelopment projects on the East Coast.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Under Armour, Sparrows Point
Under Armour, Sparrows Point

Baltimore—Just nine months after opening its third distribution house, Under Armour has announced plans for a fourth. The athletic apparel and equipment company will erect a 1.3 million-square-foot distribution and warehouse facility in the Sparrows Point community of Baltimore County, Md., just 15 miles from its global headquarters in Baltimore.

Under Armour picked a prime spot for its project. The Sparrows Point distribution house will be located within the 3,100-acre Tradepoint Atlantic, an industrial redevelopment endeavor on the site where the former Bethlehem Steel Mill once stood. It’s also one of the largest economic development projects underway on the East Coast. Under Armour’s facility will be designated for a particular use. “The new Distribution House will be a top-notch service engine for our e-commerce business to deliver the right product, to the right place at the right time to our growing consumer base and athletes around the world,” Kevin Plank, founder & CEO of Under Armour, said in a prepared statement.

From the local stage to the state level, officials are about as keen as they could be on the Under Armour project, and for good reason. The company will employ roughly 1,000 employees at the new facility once it reaches full operating capacity. In prepared remarks, Governor Larry Hogan said, “As a pivotal new tenant at Tradepoint Atlantic, Under Armour will play a big part in this site’s resurgence to a center of economic activity and trade.”

Under Armour has been quite busy on the building front. The company debuted its 1 million-square-foot Nashville Distribution House in Mount Juliet, Tenn., in December 2015. And in June of this year, the UA Lighthouse, a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing and design innovation center, opened in South Baltimore. Additionally, the apparel manufacturer recently joined forces with The Living Classrooms Foundation to invest in the revitalization of a 10,000-square-foot recreation and community center in East Baltimore.

To build or not to build. Under Armour’s options for existing or in-progress Class A industrial properties in the Charm City area were sorely limited. According to commercial real estate services firm JLL, which is handling marketing at Tradepoint Atlantic, certain areas of Baltimore County (the BW Corridor submarket in particular) are plagued with large blocks of vacant space—but these large blocks weren’t big enough for Under Armour’s needs. Per the report, there was just one big-box space over 750,000 square feet on the market in metropolitan Baltimore in the second quarter.

Under Armour’s Sparrows Point distribution house is on track to reach completion in summer 2018.