Tradepoint Atlantic: Local Legacy; Global Impact
On the former site of Bethlehem Steel, Tradepoint Atlantic was launched in 2014, two years after the mill shut down. Since then, the property has been undergoing a transformation that will make the site a 21st century-compatible logistics hub, and an economic engine for the region.
Tradepoint estimates that the project will create 17,000 permanent jobs, and more than 21,000 construction-phase jobs, most of which will be in the Baltimore area. In May, Aaron Tomarchio, Tradepoint Atlantic’s Senior Vice President, stated that the peninsula was expected to add approximately 3,500 by May 2019. FedEx, Under Armour, and Amazon alone are estimated to create over 1,000 jobs; FedEx and Amazon have already established multi-million square foot facilities and have begundistribution operations.
“A site like this is a global site,” says Tomarchio. “We are marketing Baltimore, the region, and Maryland to many international companies.”
Tradepoint will primarily house warehouses and distribution centers—a logistical demand, says Tomarchio, that many prospective tenants actively seek and request.
Earlier this year, then-County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz, welcomed Gotham Greens to Tradepoint. A “national pioneer in high-tech urban farming,” the company’s 100,000 square foot greenhouse facility is its third, following its New York and Chicago operations. Its commitment to Tradepoint is symbolic of the new innovative practices underway—ones that implement cutting edge technology—and as Kamenetz stated, representative of a new generation of jobs at Sparrows Point.
“The global market is represented at Tradepoint Atlantic, and the mid-Atlantic region in particular has a much wider availability to the international market as a result of the logistics advantages here,” says Tomarchio.
Tradepoint Atlantic’s proximity to the Port of Baltimore (it is a terminal within the port), the I-95 corridor, and a rail system gives companies the unique opportunity to have easy access to the rest of the country—and parts of Canada—through Baltimore County.
Overall, the revitalization is projected to add billions to the local economy, including $1 billion in new wages, $3 billion in annual economic impact, and adding 1% to Maryland’s gross state product.
revitalizesparrowspoint.com offers information about the revitalization and infrastructure fund to support the development of Sparrows Point. The fund will pay for infrastructure improvements like public roads, nearly 6.5 miles of sanitary sewer mains, and nearly 8 miles of water mains. Much of the work already done by Tradepoint has been purging the property of hazardous waste from the decades of steelmaking, and creating an eco-friendly, green property.
Earlier this month, a new proposal by Tradepoint was unveiled that calls for Baltimore County to pay for $78 million worth of infrastructure.
The County Council is scheduled to vote Dec. 17 on the package.
As the peninsula continues to develop, build, and grow, its legacy, the future of Tradepoint Atlantic is one of global competitiveness, investment, and economic opportunity for both the Greater Baltimore region and the state of Maryland.
In October, EAGB launched its new monthly docu-series titled “Baltimore Forward”—a project conceived by EAGB and produced by Human Being Productions. The inaugural episode was dedicated to Tradepoint Atlantic and how their redevelopment efforts build on Bethlehem Steel’s rich history of manufacturing.