Mixing business and pleasure, Route One Apparel and Sterling Forever, whose owners are dating, jointly acquired a 14,000-square-foot office and warehouse building in Towson.
The two businesses plan to relocate to the new building at 1030 Cromwell Bridge Road by the end of the year from a much smaller shared space in Jarrettsville.
Terms of the deal, announced by Lee & Associates, which brokered the transaction, were not disclosed. The building last sold for $950,000 in 2014, according to state records.
Ali von Paris founded Route One Apparel, known for its Maryland flag themed regalia, while a student at the University of Maryland, while Mike Cooke started selling silver jewelry while attending high school as a 15-year-old.
They're now both 27 and managing growing businesses that need more space, said Kate Jordan, principal of Lee & Associates Chesapeake Region, in a news release.
"The couple is also dating, which adds additional spark to this feel-good business story, which will result in the doubling of employment bases for each venture," Jordan said in a news release.
Route One Apparel expects to double its five-person workforce to 10 to 12 in the next year to accommodate its "continued rapid growth," von Paris said in the release.
Sterling Forever, which sells direct to consumers as well as wholesale to retailers such as Nordstrom, employs 12 and plans to expand its workforce to handle the company's "doubling in size within the past year," said Cooke in the release.
"The shared work environment is a good fit for both companies, and we can achieve efficiency of operations by continuing with this arrangement," Cooke said. "Both Ali and I are extremely driven, share a love for our home state, and are managing fast-growing business models. We draw energy from each other, learn together and are also motivated by the respective success of our companies. This purchase represents the ideal situation in the continued evolution of our companies."
David Dannenfelser and Tyler Boykin of JLL represented the seller — listed as JAX Holdings LLC in state records — in the sale.