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Tradepoint Atlantic CEO Michael Moore extends his hand toward Kevin Koken, vice president of eastern region operations for FedEx Ground after officially signing development deal at Sparrows Point. Directly behind Moore is Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, and to his left, Gov. Larry Hogan and U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, whose district includes Sparrows Point. (The Daily Record / Adam Bednar)

FedEx to build distribution center at Tradepoint Atlantic site

After a long tease, Tradepoint Atlantic finally announced Wednesday its first development deal at the firm’s logistics center at Sparrows Point.

FedEx Corp.’s ground delivery arm is building a 300,000-square-foot distribution center at the 3,100-acre site in southeastern Baltimore County.

“As evidenced by our record holiday shipping season, our company is growing,” Kevin Koken, vice president of Eastern Regional Operations for FedEx Ground said. “This new facility will help us meet the increasing demand for our services, which is largely fueled by the surge in e-commerce — not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year.”

The distribution center should be open by September 2017 and will employ 150 full and part-time employees initially. It is expected the facility will also mean 150 new jobs through contractors.

“FedEx is the first of many global companies that will set up operations at the new tri-modal port facility at Tradepoint Atlantic,” CEO Michael Moore said. “Having such a prestigious tenant sign a long-term lease at the site demonstrates the economic impact Tradepoint Atlantic will have for the region.”

Tradepoint announced earlier this month it had changed its name from Sparrows Point Terminal LLC in an effort to better market the Sparrows Point site globally.

Sparrows Point was the site of various steel mills dating back more than 100 years. At one point, when the site was being operated by Bethlehem Steel, it was the largest mill in the world.

Generations of Baltimore residents worked at the site, but eventually steel-making completely ceased at Sparrows Point, dealing a significant blow to the area’s blue-collar workforce.

Finding a reuse for the property has been a major priority for elected officials in Baltimore County, Baltimore and Maryland.

Sparrows Point Terminal LLC, a joint venture of Redwood Capital Investments and Hilco Real Estate Co., purchased the property in September 2014.

The property owner has subsequently gone about building a master plan that would transform the area into one of the most significant multi-modal logistics and distribution hubs in North America. Construction of the entire facility is expected to take about 20 years and cost about $1 billion.

On Tuesday, Tradepoint officials made their case to lawmakers for incentives they believe will make the project competitive with other sites in surrounding states.

Tradepoint wants to the Maryland to kick-in capital costs for infrastructure repairs, extend the One Maryland Tax Credit and provide another tax credit for increasing the volume of business at the nearby Port of Baltimore.

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.