The Maryland Port Administration is urging state officials to approve its sale of a 346,0000-square-foot pier in the Canton Industrial Area.
The Clinton Street Marine Terminal, which has seen little use for decades, sits across the Inner Harbor from Fort McHenry in the 1800 and 1900 blocks of S. Clinton Street, and has an appraised value between $2.5 million and $3.1 million, according to remarks on the intended sale before the Board of Public Works.
The terminal has an "outdated pier configuration" that is "not conducive to the type of cargo that the MPA is equipped to handle," according to remarks.
Namely, the property — which includes the pier and a thin stretch of land along South Clinton Street — lacks the storage space needed for the type of cargo the port specializes in, like automobiles, said Mike Miller, director of maritime commercial management for the Maryland Port Administration.
While the port still makes money off the terminal by charging for lay berths — or spots for large ships to dock while not being worked — the revenue isn't enough to warrant holding on to the property, Miller said.
"It's not really core to what we do, so it's better for us to move on," he said.
The pier would better serve a maritime company that could take advantage of the pier's deep water access for cargo operations, Miller said.
A large warehouse covers most of the pier, which could offer covered storage for break bulk cargo, or cargo not in massive containers, he said.
According to remarks on the proposed sale before the Board of Public Works, the port administration wants to sell the property "to a terminal operator with a vested interest in the Port of Baltimore and one that has the required land for cargo storage as well as the funds to revitalize and update the facility for cargo handling operations that are suitable for the type of cargo that the pier configuration supports."
The Board of Public Works will consider declaring the property and the water access rights to it as surplus to the state's needs at its scheduled meeting on Wednesday. A subsequent request to dispose of the property through a public sale would follow, and would also have to be approved by the board.
In addition to the pier, the property includes little over a half-acre of land between 3 inches and 20 inches wide, stretching 1,147 feet along Clinton Street.
Miller said he could not comment on interest in the property ahead of any potential sale, but that the port administration would be keen on tapping the proceeds — which he said would go to the transportation trust fund, not the general fund — for future expansions of port operations.
twitter.com/rectorsunCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun