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The new owners of the site of the former Sparrows Point steel mill paid $110 million last month to acquire the 3,100-acre property, according to state land records.

Michael Pedone, chief operating officer for new owner Sparrows Point Terminal LLC, declined to discuss terms of the land acquisition, citing the private nature of the deal. He said the figure "does not accurately reflect the entire economic substance of the transaction."

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"Do I think we bought the land at a good price, such that we're going to be able to make money over the long term? The answer has to be yes or I should be fired," he said.

Sparrows Point Terminal closed the deal Sept. 18, the same day it announced an agreement with federal and state regulators on a cleanup plan for the polluted site, the home to Bethlehem Steel for nearly a century.

That agreement commits the company to establishing a $43 million trust fund and a $5 million line of credit to pay for the cleanup, as well as reimbursing regulators for costs related to their oversight of the cleanup. The previous owner, Sparrows Point LLC, remains responsible for performing much of that cleanup, related to the original 1997 consent decree, said Barbara Brown, a project coordinator for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Sparrows Point Terminal also made a one-time payment of $3 million, absolving it of future liability for contamination found offshore. That payment would not apply to water pollution caused by new onshore work.

Sparrows Point Terminal LLC is an offshoot of Redwood Capital Investments LLC, a local firm associated with entrepreneur Jim Davis, who founded the staffing firm Aerotek with his cousin, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

"The significance of the deal is clearly the size," said Peter Dudley, a Towson-based principal at commercial real estate brokerage NAI KLNB, noting the scarcity of large industrial sites. "Those sites large enough to accommodate [large distribution centers] are harder and harder to find. … So the redevelopment play starts to make economic sense."

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