Tradepoint, county seek federal grant for port upgrades
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’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.