Steel mill property goes up for sale
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 12:21

Real estate firm Cassidy Turley has been hired to market the former Sparrows Point steel mill property. photo by Roland Dorsey

Cassidy Turley to market property

by Nicole Rodman

The former Sparrows Point steel mill is officially on the market.
    Missouri-based commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley has been hired as the listing agent for the property.
    Brought on by Commercial Development Company, Inc, on behalf of Sparrows Point LLC, Cassidy Turley will market the 3,100-acre former mill to potential buyers all over the globe.
    Commercial Development Company, Inc. is a Missouri-based redevelopment firm. Mill co-owner Environmental Liability Transfer (ELT) is an affiliate of Commercial Development Company created to deal with environmental liability.
    Sparrows Point, LLC is a corporation created by Hilco Trading for the purposes of aquiring the Sparrows Point steel mill.
    While headquartered in Missouri, Cassidy Turley has offices all over the country, including in Baltimore.
    Featuring a short-line railroad, marine terminal with deep water pier, four industrial buildings and  3,000 feet of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, the mill property has already garnered notice from interested companies.
    For their part, Commercial Development Company sees the hiring of Cassidy Turley as an opportunity to market the versatile industrial property to a wide audience.
    “We are excited to have Cassidy Turley as part of our marketing team for Sparrows Point,” John Macsherry, Vice President of Leasing and Development for Commercial Development Company, commented in a press release issued by Cassidy Turley.
    He continued, “Their experience working with the region’s economic development leadership will bring new business and jobs back to Sparrows Point.  Their ability to market the property throughout the world will direct attention and users to this remarkable asset in Baltimore.”
    Likewise, Cassidy Turley sees the marketing of the former steel mill property as a huge opportunity.
    “Cassidy Turley is pleased for the opportunity to market one of the most significant parcels of industrial land on the entire East Coast,” David Gillece, Regional Managing Principal of Cassidy Turley in Baltimore, noted in the same press release.
    He added, “We intend to use our considerable national and international resources to market the site to marine port terminal operators as well as manufacturing, distribution, energy, and infrastructure companies around the world.”
    For their part, county officials hope to see a more prosperous future for the property.
    As Dan Gunderson, head of Baltimore County’s Economic Development Department told Baltimore Business Journal last Tuesday, “At the end of the day, some years out, we could envision dozens of companies employing thousands of people. As opposed to what we’ve had as one owner with declining employment.”
    According to county spokesperson Fronda Cohen, who spoke with The Eagle last week, Cassidy Turley was hired as a “marketing arm” to help find interested buyers for the property.
    As Cohen explained, there are some parts of the property that remained vacant for years and were not used for steel manufacturing.
    These properties need little environmental cleanup and, as such, could be sold to interested industrial companies rather quickly.
    Some of the more polluted areas of the property will need extensive environmental remediation. Buildings will need to be razed before the ground can be cleaned to industrial standards.
    Cleanup work will be handled by site co-owner Environmental Liability Transfer (which owns the mill property with liquidator Hilco Trading).
    For these properties, Cohen noted, it may be years before they can be made ready for sale.
    It is the hope of county officials, as well as Cassidy Turley, ELT and Hilco, that some of the more vacant, less-used areas can be sold to new buyers quickly, leading to economic growth and new jobs.
    For now, however, Cassidy Turley is focused on assessing the market and formulating a marketing strategy.
    “Cassidy Turley is taking a look at what’s out there in the market,” Cohen explained.
    As Cohen noted, the county’s Sparrows Point Partnership initiative remains committed to helping find the best buyers for the mill property.
    The partnership is made up of business and community leaders from across the area.
    While Cassidy Turley is already working to market the mill property, it could be months or years until substantial redevelopment  occurs.
    As Cohen explained, “each area of the peninsula is in a different stage,” making it a complex property to market.
    That complexity, according to Cohen, is part of what makes the mill property so interesting to Cassidy Turley, as well as potential buyers.
    As Cohen noted, “That’s what makes it so exciting to the real estate community.”