Another distribution center in the works for Tradepoint Atlantic

Next up for Sparrows Point? Maybe another big distribution center.

The owner of the former Sparrows Point steel mill site is seeking approval for another distribution center that could be built on the property.

Tradepoint Atlantic is asking Baltimore County's Development Review Committee for permission to apply directly for building permits for a distribution center of up to 900,000 square feet.

The company has not signed a deal with a tenant for that site yet, said Aaron Tomarchio, a vice president of Tradepoint Atlantic. It plans to construct the building to fit a tenant's needs.

"There are several prospects for that site," Tomarchio said, declining to name any of them.

Tomarchio said the company has started the development approval process "so if we get a tenant, we can move quickly for delivery."

Nothing will be built on the site until a tenant signs on.

The distribution center would be built on what's known as "site A3," which lies next to a 305,000-square-foot FedEx distribution hub under construction on the western side of the property.

At 900,000 square feet, the new distribution center would be larger than the nearby new cold mill building — one of the few steel mill buildings that remains standing, smaller than the 1 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center a few miles away in Baltimore.

Tradepoint, formerly known as Sparrows Point Terminal, bought the shuttered steel mill for $110 million in 2014 with the goal of transforming it into a campus of port, logistics and light manufacturing uses. Tradepoint is a joint venture of the local firm Redwood Capital Investments and the Chicago-based liquidation and redevelopment firm Hilco.

In addition to the FedEx distribution hub, Tradepoint also has inked deals to bring a Harley-Davidson training academy to the site and for Pasha Automotive Services to ship vehicles through Tradepoint's port facilities on the Patapsco River. Pasha's first delivery of vehicles is expected later this month.

Tradepoint Atlantic also is working to recruit tenants for a planned retail center with a gas station, grocery store, hotel and shops for people who will work at the site and for residents of surrounding neighborhoods.

As it seeks tenants, Tradepoint has been demolishing steel mill structures, clearing the site and continuing an environmental cleanup of the 3,100-acre property.

The Sparrows Point site was used for making steel for more than a century, mostly as a Bethlehem Steel plant. After a series of ownership changes, the mill was closed for good in 2012 when its then-owner, RG Steel, went bankrupt.

pwood@baltsun.com

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