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May 20, 1940 – The Sparrows Point Shipbuilding division of the Bethlehem Steel Company with the steel mill in the background. (Robert F. Kniesche/Baltimore Sun)

Most of us who have lived in Baltimore County for more than a few years (or for a life time) easily remember the days when many good paying manufacturing jobs for middle class workers existed on the east side of Baltimore County. We can still recall those glory days when thousands of our citizens worked at Bethlehem Steel, General Motors (no one will forgot the GM Astro van manufactured in Baltimore), Eastern Stainless Steel, and in airplane manufacturing near Martin’s State Airport.

Whether we like it or not, things constantly change and, if we are honest, not always for the better! Such change occurred when Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt, resulting in several companies then buying the plant over a short period of time and each failing to produce many promised great things.

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Baltimoresun.com

Finally, we have experienced GOOD NEWS! The redevelopment of the former Bethlehem Steel plant at Sparrows Point is not only finally happening but appears to be based on a sound and truly transformational plan for the entire site. One only needs to look at a map showing the location of this former steel plant to understand the true potential that this strategic site has for all of Baltimore County and the rest of Maryland.

While the long-time presence of Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point is gone, the Point’s traditions and community significance is captured in the new entity doing this massive redevelopment project, TRADEPOINT ATLANTIC. TRADEPOINT purchased the entire 3,100 acre tired, old, polluted site in 2014 for $ 110 M.

TRADEPOINT has developed a detailed plan to create a vibrant 21st Century state of the art transportation and logistics facilities that is poised to become THE east coast destination for trade and related industries. Strategically developing and utilizing this site will allow businesses locating there to reach markets not only along the eastern seaboard of the United States and to also enhance our Port’s critical function as a vital gateway to many commercial markets in the midwest United States.

TRADEPOINT’s founders include several local investors (Redwood Capital Investments) with strong Maryland ties. The owners have assembled a first class core team to design and implement this redevelopment in a careful and thoughtful manner focused on achieving success.

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This team has already achieved much success in the remediation of acres of polluted soil, the demolition of many obsolete structures and the strengthening of existing infrastructure to properly position this site for effective marketing to a wide variety of potential business partners. These efforts have already resulted in success in reaching agreements with several new businesses that will be locating at TRADEPOINT, including:

a Fed Ex Distribution Hub with more than 300,000 square feet
a Harley Davidson Training Center
Pasha Automotive Services (shipment of vehicles)

Other activities that have already progressed beyond the planning stage, include:

– a retail center designed to provide products and services to the employees at the redeveloped site as well as clients and visitors
a massive Distribution Center that will be as large as 900,000 square feet

These initial activities and future plans are expected to result in the creation of 10,000 good jobs during the next 10 years at TRADEPOINT.

Our County’s citizens suffered a significant loss with the closing of Bethlehem Steel. However, with support from Baltimore County and Maryland, TRADEPOINT is well positioned to create a superb site that will continue to attract a great array of businesses that will create good jobs that will be an economic engine supporting the growth of our local economy. This will help ensure that the quality of life that we enjoy in Baltimore County will be further enhanced.
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