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Cal Ripken Jr., lef,t and Steve Salem, President of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, right, tour a new ball field the foundation helped build in Annapolis in 2014.
Cal Ripken Jr., lef,t and Steve Salem, President of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, right, tour a new ball field the foundation helped build in Annapolis in 2014. (By Paul W. Gillespie, Staff / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Sagamore Development Co., the real estate firm privately owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, said Wednesday it has hired the sports entertainment company backed by Cal Ripken Jr. to design athletic fields in Port Covington.

Sagamore plans a massive mixed-use redevelopment of Port Covington, a peninsula south of Interstate 95 and Federal Hill that juts into the Patapsco River's Middle Branch, with a new Under Armour campus, offices, shopping and residences. The firm also says the project will include 42 acres of parks.

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Ripken Baseball has been selected to design athletic fields in a park along the west shore, which would extend from the Hanover Street Bridge on the southeast to McComas Street on the northwest, Sagamore said. It will collaborate with the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, which would own the 26-acre park upon completion.

Sagamore Development President Marc Weller declined to provide a timeline for the project, which would involve a reconfiguration of the 11-acre Swann Park. The firm is still deciding how many fields and what type would be developed, he said in a statement.

The park, estimated to cost about $56 million, is one of the infrastructure projects that would be paid for with tax increment financing, or TIF, if the city approves Sagamore's request for $535 million in funding, according to an analysis presented to the city's Board of Finance in April. Weller said Sagamore is paying for the initial planning costs in advance of approval of the TIF, in which the city would pledge new tax revenues generated by Sagamore's redevelopment to repay bond debt.

The firm is working to secure design approval of its plans for Port Covington, as well as about $1.1 billion in government funding for infrastructure projects in the area.

Plank and Ripken have also collaborated on earlier projects, including the youth sports center in Patterson Park in 2012 and banner field at Latrobe Park in 2014.

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