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With New Performance Center, FX Studios Hopes To Give Baltimore A Boost

March 16, 2016
Baltimore residents looking to get fit will have a new gym option when the Under Armour Performance Center Powered by FX Fitness takes center stage at historic 10 Light St. this spring.

With a prime location in the heart of the city's financial district, the more than 40,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility has undergone part of an $80 million overhaul by owner Metropolitan Partnership in preparation for its May opening to the general public. The iconic green-and-gold capped Art Deco structure, also known as the Bank of America Building, will house the gym on most of the first three floors of the 34-floor building. 

FX Studios owner Nate Costa and Metropolitan Partnership president Cary Euwer have worked tirelessly during the last two-plus years to oversee the completion of the project. Once it's finished, the gym will include all the basic workout amenities, as well as an Under Armour retail store, a Fuel Cafe, sauna, steam room and turf field. 

"Cary's vision for the bank hall, along with ours, is that we thought it would be an amazing fitness complex," Costa said. "Within the first 30 seconds of seeing it in person, I couldn't agree more and just started to envision how we could bring it to life. It's a very unique space, but at the same time, it's a very beautiful space, which is something we really want to take advantage of in this area." 

This will mark the third location for FX Studios, which began in Hunt Valley, Md., 11 years ago and has overseen the gym on Under Armour's Port Covington campus the last six years. At any given time, Costa said numerous professional athletes visit the sports apparel supplier's headquarters to train. 

Costa, 38, graduated from the University of Maryland in 2003 and obtained full ownership of FX Studios from its previous ownership just two years later. Shortly after opening the Hunt Valley location, Costa said he encountered Plank for the first time when he was at the gym looking for a personal trainer. 

Since then, the pair have worked out together as many as three to four times per week. During that time, Costa said their respective companies have benefited a great deal from one another. 

"Through the growth of his company, with it being an apparel performance brand, we expanded our relationship together," Costa said, "and we were in a position to say yes to everything. In the business of trying to take care of people -- I'm trying to help people become healthier -- that was critical for us. My company and Under Armour have been working together closely ever since."

For Euwer, the decision to approach Under Armour about anchoring the property was a no-brainer. In fact, he believes the fitness center is one of the most important developments in the city in quite some time. 

"This [gym] changes every aspect, of sorts, of uplifting the tide of Baltimore," Euwer said. "Having the brand commit to this building and this neighborhood literally changes everything. Everything that Nate has been able to put together with Under Armour and their expertise in nutrition is a major component with the success they have had in training and fitness."

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore president Kirby Fowler has done his part to help Euwer see his vision through for the building since Metropolitan Partnership acquired the property for $6 million in November 2012. Fowler, who already owns a membership to the gym, assisted Euwer with the necessary tax credits and city approvals that were required for the redevelopment of the building.

"Once Cary Euwer and his team took over the site, we've been helping out in any way possible to make the project successful," Fowler said. "This is one of those projects where I would drop whatever I'm doing in order to help it come to fruition. 

"It's no exaggeration -- the FX Studios Under Armour Performance Center is probably one of the most important developments that has occurred in downtown Baltimore in decades." 

Not only will the building include the gym, but Metropolitan Partnership has also successfully converted the old office building into 419 upscale, luxury apartments.

Euwer said the addition of housing units have created even more buzz surrounding the opening of the gym since residents started moving in last October. 

He estimates more than 50 of the 419 units are currently occupied, and altogether 70 have been leased. 

"You have, say, 600-800 folks who will be living in the building," Euwer said, "and these people are going to be integrated and going to classes, eating downstairs, making use of the retail space. To me, it's the total synergy of how you can have an element in the building that totally feeds off the building population. All of the white-collar workers that are around us are professionals, from T. Rowe Price, to every major law firm, to the financial institutions, to the attorney general's office." 

Pre-opening memberships are currently being accepted at $50 per month for an annual contract. When the facility opens, month-to-month memberships will cost $65. 

Costa said specials are available through FX Studios' various social media platforms, and residents of the new apartments will receive discounted membership rates. 

"Everything we do together with Under Armour, we have to prove that it's going to work," Costa said. "Each [gym] has been unique. The 10 Light St. building is kind of the next evolution of taking that and bringing it together." 

Issue 219: March 2016