Details of Sparrows Point retail development announced

Concept art showcases plans for retail development at Sparrows Point.

Royal Farms will be the first retail tenant at Tradepoint Atlantic.

The Nov. 15 announcement comes on the heels of news that Amazon will be building a $225 million distribution center at the former Sparrows Point steel mill site.

Tradepoint first announced plans to locate a 70-plus-acre retail development, dubbed The Shoppes at Tradepoint Atlantic, in June 2016.

Plans called for leasing seven free-standing retail pads, two hotel sites and 150,000 additional square feet of retail space, featuring “14- to 16-foot clear heights, exposed brick, modern storefronts and designated green space for customers.”

The retail development will be located at the northern end of the Sparrows Point peninsula near I-695 and Bethlehem Boulevard.

Royal Farms will occupy one of the seven retail pads and will include a convenience store, gas station and car wash.

According to officials, tenants of the retail development will be able to take advantage of the site’s Chesapeake Enterprise Zone tax credit, as well as a tax exemption on building supplies and other credits.

Officials have touted the planned retail development as centrally-located to serve employees on the Sparrows Point site, as well as nearby residents.

“The surrounding residential population provides further convenience to the heavily-trafficked I-695 corridor, and we expect Royal Farms to do quite well here,” said Greg Ferrante, senior vice president of JLL, which handles leasing on the site.

Eric Gilbert, chief development officer at Tradepoint Atlantic, echoed this sentiment, noting, “We expect the thousands of people who will work at Tradepoint Atlantic and the tens of thousands that travel I-695 every day will welcome this highly accessible retail development to the area.”

Officials with Royal Farms also touted the project’s proximity to a ready customer base.

“We’re extremely proud, as well as excited, to take one of Baltimore’s favorite local brands and partner with a significant part of Baltimore’s history as well as its future as part of our business growth,” said Jeff Bainbridge, director of real estate for Royal Farms.

“In addition to the symbolic nature of our move to Sparrows Point,” he said, “we’re eager to benefit from convenient access to thousands of customers on-site at Tradepoint Atlantic, as well as tens of thousands of customers in the immediate area.”

Gilbert first teased last week’s announcement at a public open house, saying, “We have signed our first retail deal,” though he did not reveal that tenant at the time.

Royal Farms is expected to open on the site in late 2018.

A spokesperson for Tradepoint Atlantic confirmed that construction on the retail development has not yet started.

Environmental remediation is ongoing at the site under the supervision of the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The site will be remediated to a commercial standard, which is more stringent that the industrial standard set for most of the Tradepoint site.

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