UPDATE: Sparrows Point buyer confirmed
Thursday, 10 July 2014 13:47

 by Nicole Rodman


    Multiple sources have confirmed that Hanover, Md.-based investment company Redwood Capital Investments is in talks to purchase a large portion of the former Sparrows Point steel mill site.
    Del. John Olszewski Jr. told The Eagle that he spoke with representatives of the company last month.
    “I believe that this signals great potential and promise for the entire Sparrows Point peninsula,” Olszewski said. “Not only does Redwood have a significant capital base that would be necessary to cultivate a clean property and pro-growth environment at the site, but they also are a local company headquartered right here in Maryland.”
    Redwood head Jim Davis, a Baltimore businessman, founded what would become Allegis Group with his cousin, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, in 1983.
    Today, Allegis Group is the largest privately-held staffing agency in the U.S.
    Redwood’s other holdings include Erickson Living Management LLC, which manages retirement communities in Maryland and elsewhere across the country.
    Currently, the mill property is owned by liquidator Hilco Industrial.
    Hilco, along with redeveloper Environmental Liability Transfer (ELT)  purchased the mill site for $72 million in August 2012.
    A letter submitted to the U.S. District Court by Gerard P. Martin, a lawyer for ELT-owned Sparrows Point LLC, indicated that within the last few months, ELT had agreed to sell the mill site to Hilco.
    According to Martin’s letter, Hilco then agreed to sell “a significant percentage” of the site to “a local investment group”, which has since been identified as Redwood Capital Investments.
    The purpose of Martin’s letter was to request the extension of  a temporary order allowing wastewater from the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant to flow through pipelines at the former steel mill site.
    The letter requested that the order, set to expire on Aug. 1, be extended until early October.
    Since the 1940s, wastewater — once used in steelmaking — has flowed to the Sparrows Point steel mill under an agreement between Baltimore City and the steel mill owners.
    In September 2012, the mill site owners and the city reached an agreement allowing the city to continue piping wastewater at a cost of $80,000 per month.
    Last August, the mill site owners agreed to extend the agreement for a year if the city paid $105,000 per month.
    In remarks to The Eagle,  Baltimore City Solicitor George Nilson confirmed  that “an extension was jointly requested,” but provided no further details.
    Baltimore County spokesperson Ellen Kobler referred The Eagle to Hilco chief marketing officer Gary Epstein for comment.
    Esptein did not immediately respond to a request for comment.