Is Baltimore the New Portland? Fila Doubles Footprint on Under Armour’s Home Turf

Look out, Under Armour, Fila is making a bigger bet on Baltimore.

The athletic footwear and apparel maker said Thursday that it has more than doubled the size of distribution center in the city, signing a 10-year lease to acquire a space that sits adjacent to its facility.

CBRE Industrial and Logistics Group arranged the lease transaction, totaling 731,500 square feet at 7269 and 7630 Gambrills Cove Road in Pasadena, Md. Fila is renewing its 379,102-square-foot lease at 7630 and taking an additional 352,850 at 7269, expanding its footprint in the Baltimore area and increasing its distribution capacity as the brand reaps the benefits of a retro athletic momentum. (The company said recent heightened interest in Fila among millennials has reinvigorated its business with demand from retailers like Urban Outfitters, Foot Locker and Barneys New York.)

Fila Baltimore distribution center
Fila’s Baltimore distribution center.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Fila

“Fila North America’s continued growth, the opportunity to reach our customers from Baltimore and the expansion of the Port of Baltimore made this decision easy for us,” said Pat Craig, VP of distribution. “The new space is attached to our existing building, which offers the synergy we need to keep operations flowing. The location is key to our customer base, allowing the brand to service the NE, SE and MW regions all within two to three days.”

The company also described the expansion “the largest industrial lease transaction” in the Baltimore Metro area for the first half of 2018.

Headquartered in South Korea, Fila in 1991 announced plans to move its U.S. distribution from the suburbs of New York to Southeast Baltimore. Competitor Under Armour was launched in Baltimore in 1996, helping the city to become a burgeoning athletic market hub. Boston — home to Reebok and New Balance — is also an attractive locale for shoe brands.

Still, Portland, Ore., which houses the main digs for Nike (Beaverton) and Adidas in the U.S., reigns as the sneaker hub of the universe — for now.

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