Soccer Academy Leases Warehouse-Turned-Sports Facility in Maryland

Liverpool FC International finds new home For its DC youth academy

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Liverpool FC International Academy Maryland, which trains elite youth soccer players in the D.C. region, has signed a long-term lease with the Moose Athletic Club in Glen Burnie, Md., and will begin utilizing the facility this fall.

The facility is owned by a joint venture between Chesapeake Real Estate Group and private equity investors.

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Formerly the Moose Lodge and Family Center, the 30,000-square-foot building was transformed into a multi-functional indoor sports facility, featuring a 6,500-square-foot turf box arena and a 3,900-square-foot turf training area. It also includes a fitness and weight room and locker room facility.

CREG took control of the former Moose Lodge last fall; conversion of the property started late last year and just became operational. The first phase included the addition of the indoor playing facilities, space for a sports rehabilitation tenant and other amenities. The final element, the outdoor fields, will be completed next March. 

“Chesapeake Real Estate Group is giving back to the community via youth sports, because youth sports changes lives,” Jim Lighthizer, CREG’s principal and managing director, told Commercial Observer. “Most of the members of our team have young kids, and we have all experienced the difficulty of finding high-quality programs, teams, and sports facilities that provided appropriate age- and skill-level experiences.”

LFC, a globally recognized soccer brand, will utilize both the indoor facility and outside playing fields for practices, training sessions, league games and tournaments. It had been using various public and private high schools throughout the Anne Arundel County region for these purposes.

The deal represents a continuation of the pivot from industrial/warehouse projects to youth sports for CREG. The company is also working on the transformation of the former North Carroll High School in Hampstead, Md., into The Panther Athletic Club. The 50-acre, indoor-and-outdoor facility and athletic complex will encompass five turf fields and one natural grass field within 260,000 square feet of space.

“Our real estate expertise allows us to provide private facilities for youth sports programming,” Lighthizer said. “We all recognize the tremendous benefits of playing team sports, and absolutely believe it positively impacts lives and fosters a healthy mind and body.”

The Moose Athletic Club is within a mile of Interstate 97, MD Route 3 and the University of Maryland Medical Center. 

Jamie Darvill, director of player development for Liverpool FC International Academy Maryland, represented the tenant in the deal, while CREG’s executive vice president Matt Laraway and vice president Christopher Murray represented the landlord.