The master plan for Port Covington has received attention in recent months for everything from its enlightened approach to urban ecology and “high performance” design to perceived shortcomings such as a low percentage of affordable housing.
But during a presentation yesterday to the 1000 Friends of Maryland advocacy group, the developers acknowledged they are exploring one detail that could set the project apart.
The jogging trails along the water’s edge and throughout the community, they said, may be made with a secret ingredient: recycled Under Armour tee shirts.
Sagamore Development Company, which is building the 266-acre community in South Baltimore, is owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who came up with the idea of sweat-wicking tee shirts, and Port Covington will include a new world headquarters campus for Under Armour.
“We do have a horse-racing track made of recycled tee shirts” at Planks’ Sagamore Farms property in Baltimore County, said Demian Costa, managing partner of Sagamore Ventures, during a question and answer session. “Why couldn’t you put them in jogging trails, too? It would make it faster, wouldn’t it?”
The idea of using recycled Under Armour sportswear as part of Port Covington’s trail network came up during a planning meeting earlier this year with Sagamore representatives and Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel.
Using a well-known Under Armour product as a construction material would be a new twist on recycling, one panel member said — like when the city used glasphalt on Charles Street to make the road surface sparkle.
The event, entitled “Inside the Mind of Sagamore Development Company,” was a fundraiser for 1000 Friends of Maryland, a non-profit group that promotes smart growth around the state.
It was held inside one of Sagamore’s first completed projects at Port Covington, a 140,000-square-foot “maker space” and innovation hub on Dickman Street called City Garage. Visitors toured the facility and tasted one of the products bottled there: Sagamore Spirit rye whiskey.
The event was disrupted at one point by a bullhorn-wielding protester named Anthony Williams who got on stage and called for the community to provide more affordable housing. Affordable housing advocates also stood outside the parking lot to City Garage, waving signs and passing out flyers to people as they came to the event.
Marc Weller, president of Sagamore Development Company, told the audience that Sagamore intends to build affordable housing as part of Port Covington. He also announced that Sagamore is donating $5,000 to the 1000 Friends of Maryland to support its efforts.
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