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Tradepoint Atlantic buys Sparrows Point Shipyard

Adam Bednar//Daily Record Business Writer//May 21, 2018

Tradepoint Atlantic buys Sparrows Point Shipyard

By Adam Bednar

//Daily Record Business Writer

//May 21, 2018

Tradepoint Atlantic Sparrows Point 10-2016MF003

Tradepoint Atlantic has purchased the Sparrows Point Shipyard, the final piece of land on the peninsula not under the developer’s control.

Tradepoint on Monday announced the acquisition of the 150-acre property. The company now controls 3,250 acres of land in eastern Baltimore County. The site, also called Tradepoint Atlantic, is in the process of being transformed into one of the nation’s largest multi-modal hubs.

“Tradepoint Atlantic is proud to further demonstrate its commitment to redeveloping Sparrows Point and making investments that will continue to drive economic activity within the local economy,” said Kerry Doyle, chief commercial officer of Tradepoint Atlantic, in a statement, adding the acquisition of the shipyard “enables us to move forward with the next phase of our project – modernizing infrastructure and enhancing connectivity throughout the industrial complex to attract additional world-class tenants that will create jobs.”

Purchasing the shipyards adds 225,000 square feet of near-berth warehouse space and berth capacity to the site. The shipyard also adds a dry dock in addition to vessel barge berths Tradepoint Atlantic intends to use for operations at the redevelopment.

Tradepoint announced last year a 10-year deal with Virginia-based Host Terminals to oversee most marine terminal operations at the site, along with a collective bargaining agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 37. The site is already handling some roll-off cargo, such as cars via Pasha Automotive’s terminal.

In March, the federal government awarded $20 million to Baltimore County for infrastructure improvements and expansion of marine terminal operations at the site. The project has been hailed for its potential to turn the former home of Bethlehem Steel into an economic driver in an area hit hard by loss of industrial and manufacturing jobs.

Full build-out at Tradepoint is expected to take roughly two decades. It projected to produce a $2.9 billion impact on the regional economy and support 17,000 direct and indirect jobs. Major tenants at the multi-modal portion of the project already include FedEx, Under Armour and Amazon.

Tradepoint Atlantic will also include a retail component aimed at serving the people who work at the site. Last fall, the company announced a Royal Farms convenience store and gas station will open on a 3.7-acre parcel at the project.

Officials for commercial real estate services firm JLL, which is handing leasing for the site, previously said they’ve discussed the project with roughly 85 retailers interested in leasing space. The project is expected to include an additional 150,000 square feet of retail space including a grocery store.

The state has taken some efforts to mitigate one of the site’s shortcomings – the relative lack of mass transit. In February, The Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration launched a bus route making 47 trips a day from the Inner Harbor through Greektown and Dundalk to Sparrows Point.

The shipyard dates back to the 1870s and was used to build Liberty Ships during World War II. Sparrows Point’s use as a steel-making site also dates back to the 1800s. But after years of decline and rotating ownership, steel-making completely halted at the site in 2012. Finding a new use for the large industrial parcel became a priority for the Maryland and Baltimore County.

In 2014, a joint venture of Redwood Capital Investments and Hilco Real Estate Co., purchased the Sparrows Point property, and pledged to spend $51 million on cleanup efforts.

In early 2016, the joint venture, which had been operating as Sparrows Point Terminal LLC, revealed it was changing its name and rechristening the planned multi-modal development Tradepoint Atlantic.


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