Trade­point, county seek fed­eral grant for port up­grades

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

Trade­point At­lantic, with the Bal­ti­more County gov­ern­ment, has ap­plied for a $25 mil­lion fed­eral grant that, if awarded, would go toward im­prov­ing and

ex­pand­ing marine fa­cil­i­ties at Spar­rows Point.

The funds would come from a TIGER (Trans­porta­tion Gen­er­at­ing Eco­nomic Re­cov­ery) grant, ad­min­is­tered by the U.S. Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion.

Each year, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion awards $500 mil­lion worth of TIGER grants to projects that boost eco­nomic de­velop and im­prove ac­cess to trans­porta­tion.

Trade­point, owner of the former mill site turned in­dus­trial cam­pus since 2014, and Bal­ti­more County last ap­plied for a $26 mil­lion TIGER grant in 2016 to fund up­grades needed to bring a wind tur­bine assem­bly fa­cil­ity to the site. Grant fund­ing was not awarded in that case.

If pro­vided this time, the grant would be awarded over the course of four years.

In ad­di­tion, Trade­point has stated that, if the grant is re­ceived, the com­pany will match the funds with $25 mil­lion worth of pri­vate in­vest­ment in the site’s marine fa­cil­i­ties.

In a re­lease is­sued on Mon­day, the county noted that the funds would go toward up­grad­ing the port’s East-West Berth, in­clud­ing strength­en­ing bulk­heads and per­form­ing main­te­nance dredg­ing. Funds would also go toward up­grad­ing rail and road­ways on the site.

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz and Trade­point se­nior vice pres­i­dent Aaron To­mar­chio both touted the joint ap­pli­ca­tion in state­ments.

“This public/pri­vate in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment can ig­nite job cre­ation in Bal­ti­more County and the en­tire re­gion by speed­ing up the turn­around of Spar­rows Point from a shut­tered steel­mak­ing site into a mod­ern hub for global com­merce,” Kamenetz said.

To­mar­chio echoed these sen­ti­ments, stat­ing, “By part­ner­ing with Bal­ti­more County to se­cure a fed­eral grant for this key in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment, we can con­tinue our com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing a first-class fa­cil­ity ded­i­cated to in­creas­ing long term job cre­ation in the Bal­ti­more re­gion and low­er­ing prices of Amer­i­can ex­port and im­port con­sumer goods.”

A study com­pleted by the Sage Pol­icy Group last year spec­u­lated that Trade­point could bring 17,000 per­ma­nent jobs to the area, plus 21,000 jobs in con­struc­tion. The eco­nomic im­pact of busi­ness at the re­de­vel­oped mill site, which is slated to be fully de­vel­oped by 2025, could top $3 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the study.

Among cur­rent or an­nounced ten­ants at the site, which has been en­vi­sioned as a mul­ti­modal trans­porta­tion, lo­gis­tics and manufacturing cam­pus, are FedEx, Un­derAr­mour, Pasha Au­to­mo­tive and Har­ley-Davidson.

Ama­zon and US Wind have been spec­u­lated on as po­ten­tial ten­ants, though no deals have been an­nounced.

TRADE­POINT AT­LANTIC

Trade­point At­lantic’s con­cep­tual mas­ter plan shows a range of uses on the 3,100 acre penin­sula. Re­tail, dis­tri­bu­tion and ware­house op­er­a­tions cen­ters are at the north­ern end with marine and cargo han­dling fa­cil­i­ties at the south­ern end.

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