Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A large corporate campus in Baltimore city?

Are the below quotes from Google, Apple or Facebook? Or maybe Nike?

'Why not make it great?'  "The one thing I'll tell you is I just want to do great things. I just want to be involved in projects that are great and build things that have people go 'wow.' One of my passions in life is I love blowing people's minds." 
"We tell stories for a living — we tell great stories and we build products to support those stories,"  "When [visitors] come here, I want them to have a proper hotel to stay at. When they come and visit, I want them to see a proper campus. I want them to see unique things we have like the distillery."
"It will be one of the most incredible places to work, to live and to play,"  "It would feel like an old port city, and the ability for us to go from the ground up to do that will be just incredible. So whether it's things like having the distillery that gives it a little bit of charm — it should be charming."
He acknowledged the land encompasses more than the 128 acres 
"I never want to be beholden to a vote of some board or politics or anyone else."We have the means and we don't have to ask anybody permission," [we] need more space and we tried building here and got voted down. People basically said we don't think you should keep growing here. And we said, 'Why are we allowing you to say that.'"
This is the Baltimore attitude, people! No longer a city that begs and follows the maxime that anything is better than nothing. No longer the wallflower crying about its lost blue collar headline industries like General Motors and Bethlehem Steel.
The one who spoke these words is not the CEO of a big tech company but of a start up sports apparel company that many had never heard of a few years back: Under Armour, now a three billion dollar a year trendsetter in the market. The CEO's name: Kevin Plank. His new development ambition: Sagamore LLC
Some of Kevin Plank's words seem a bit arrogant and too full of hubris, that happens sometimes to successful CEOs. But for Baltimore, a city full of underdogs and self doubt his attitude is a powerful antidote. Why do with less if better will yield better results in the long run? Plank has shown that he can achieve goals. If he can get the Baltimore's administration, citizens and fellow developers to think and act a bit more like him, take a risk and set the eyes high, that would, indeed, be good. 
Let alone the corporate campus along the derelict Baltimore waterfront at which a Walmart and a Sam Club (!!) were the previous attempts of reinventing an abandoned industrial brownfield right at the water. What a boon it could be!
Let's just hope Plank isn't flying too close to the sun, like Icarus in Greek mythology.
Kudos to Kevin Litten, tireless writer at the Baltimore Business Journal to get these fabulous quotes by sitting down and talk with Plank. Priceless!
One of the many previous dreams for Port Covington, Baltimore. Plank doesn't have a masterplan yet.

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