February 4, 2016
Under Armour Inc. CEO Kevin Plank is donating $5 million for a new recreation and community center in East Baltimore.
The 10,000-square-foot project will be located at 1100 E. Fayette St. in the space formerly known as the Carmelo Anthony Center. The project, a partnership between Under Armour and the Living Classrooms Foundation, will include a covered turf field, workforce development and entrepreneurship center, dance and yoga studios, a recording studio and neighborhood kitchen. A classroom for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will also be part of the building.
The $5 million investment is being made through Plank’s Cupid Foundation. Under Armour (NYSE: UA) is also donating $1.275 million to support programing.
James Piper Bond, CEO of Living Classrooms, said the new offerings are “in response to needs articulated” by the East Baltimore community. Under Armour and the nonprofit began working together a year ago on the project, he said. The project comes less than a year after April’s riots, which added pressure on the city to create new youth and community centers.
“We have been active in our community for many years, working with schools, families, hospitals and first responders,” Plank said in a statement. “Now, more than ever, we need to double down on that commitment. Baltimore is our home, and we will always show up and do our part.”
Under Armour also said it is working to recruit some its partners to the center, including the expansion of the Jr. NBA program.
The project is adjacent to the Pleasant View Gardens community.
Construction is scheduled to begin this month and last six months. Existing programming will temporarily be relocated to 1601 E. Baltimore St.
The name of the new center has not yet been determined.
In a statement, Under Armour and Living Classrooms thanked Anthony, an NBA All-Star who attended Towson Catholic High School, for his past generosity and said he will always be welcome at the center.
Plank’s donation follows a string of investments he and Under Armour have made in the city. His real estate arm, Sagamore Development, recently unveiled plans for a multibillion-dollar development at Port Covington. A 50-acre Under Armour headquarters will be part of the project.