Kevin Plank founded Under Armour in 1995. Ten years later, he took the sports apparel company public, and today, as Plank himself said last week, Under Armour employs around 350,000 people worldwide. It is behind only Nike in the US, in the highly competitive sports apparel industry. Kevin Plank has big plans for Under Armour, and for the city of Baltimore.
Today, a conversation with the guy who runs Mr. Plank’s private company, Plank Industries.
Tom Geddes is the CEO of Plank Industries, whose portfolio includes, among other things, horse racing, rye whiskey, a tech incubator, and Sagamore Development, the company behind the huge plan to create what many are calling a “city within a city” on the waterfront in South Baltimore.
Port Covington will include a new corporate headquarters for Under Armour, coupled with housing, retail establishments, and recreation.
The city of Baltimore has committed nearly $660 million in what’s known as a TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, which will provide infrastructure to support all the new buildings and parks in Port Covington. The State and Federal government may chip in as well. The total price tag for Port Covington is expected to be in the neighborhood of $5 billion. The company has also committed to hiring local residents for some of the construction jobs and permanent jobs, and they’ve agreed to about $100 million to fund things like job training, affordable housing, and profit sharing with the city.
Many observers call the company’s commitment to the Community Benefits Agreement historic, with the potential to set the standard for such development projects nation-wide.
Tom Geddes is our guest for the hour, and he takes your calls and emails as well.