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Under Armour CEO Backs Plans To Turn Fells Point Recreation Pier Into Hotel

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- There's a new plan to redevelop one of Baltimore's iconic landmarks. A historic pier at the Fells Point harbor, once the site of a hit TV series, has fallen into disrepair.

Now, one of Maryland's richest men wants to bring it back to life.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the plan.

The Fells Point Recreation Pier has been vacant since 1999. Now it could be converted into a new hotel.

The windows are broken and boarded up. Recreation Pier in Fells Point has been abandoned for more than 15 years.

"The merchants and the business owners and residents are just tired of the eyesore," said Mike Maraziti, President of Fells Point Main Street.

Now there's a new plan to convert the 100-year-old building into a 128 room boutique hotel. The pier is now under contract with Sagamore Development--a firm backed by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.

Business leaders say they're excited Plank is at the helm.

"If he's committed to doing it, he's a guy that gets stuff done. And it's really nice to see someone that wants to come in and make a difference," said Maraziti.

Redevelopment plans for the pier have been in talks for about a decade, but financing and the deteriorating condition of the pilings have derailed them.

The last time the building was used was when it doubled as a police station for the hit TV show Homicide: Life on the Street.

Built in 1914, many are excited to see the unique structure brought back to its former glory.

"Good historic preservation has an impact beyond that. And it's going to be important to the economic development of this area as well," said Ellen Von Karajan with the Preservation Society.

Michael McDaniel is counting on it. He owns Baltimore Water Taxi--right next door.

"It's definitely going to increase ridership. It's going to increase the look and feel of our operation. And I know it's going to be a positive," he said.

A makeover that could attract more tourists to the community.

It's a big job. Some of the pilings are so old, they are actually sinking parts of the pier into the water.

If the sale goes through, business owners say they've been told construction could begin quickly.

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