Former Sparrows Point steel mill gets new name

13 January 2016

The old Sparrows Point steel mill property has a new name: Tradepoint Atlantic.

The company that bought the former Bethlehem Steel mill in 2014 with plans to redevelop it as an industrial and transportation complex announced the change Tuesday.

"As we make the transition from a local industrial powerhouse to a global transportation and logistics center, our new identity will help us build a global brand for a global economy," company CEO Michael Moore said in a statement.

The company also changed its own name from Sparrows Point Terminal to Atlantic Tradepoint, and released a new logo that uses the letters "A" and "T" to form the top three points of a five-pointed star.

Officials said the three points represent the property's land, rail and water access while echoing the Star of Bethlehem, the emblem that adorned Bethlehem Steel's L Blast Furnace before it was demolished a year ago.

Moore told The Baltimore Sun last year that the company and property would need a rebranding to make it easier to market the project to potential tenants and customers as far away as Europe and Asia.

The scale of the project needs to be "more easily understood in other parts of the world," he said.

The company bought the Internet domain in September.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz expressed confidence "that Tradepoint Atlantic will soon be the place where over 10,000 people will come to work each day."

"The name Sparrows Point conjures thoughts of mighty blast furnaces, heavy steel and workers streaming from a plant that made steel for 125 years," he wrote in a blog post. "We'll never forget our past, because it is the men and women of the Point who set the bar high for hard work and high quality.

"Times change. Global economies change. Technology changes.

"Today, under committed local ownership, the 3,100 acres of Sparrows Point are being reinvented as a global distribution powerhouse for the 21st century and beyond."

Moore and other company officials have said that they will find a way in the new complex to celebrate more than a century of steelmaking at Sparrows Point. He acknowledged that locally, the name Sparrows Point is "meaningful in people's minds."

The company restored the Star of Bethlehem and hung it this December on the property's water treatment plant. The company plans to find a more visible, permanent location for the star as the property is redeveloped.

Tradepoint Atlantic is a joint venture of the local firm Redwood Capital Investments and the Chicago-based liquidation and redevelopment firm Hilco, which bought the property for $110 million in September 2014.

The company entered into agreements with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up contamination on the site from the decades of steelmaking.

The company pledged to spend at least $48 million on cleaning the land and gave $3 million to the EPA to address pollution in the waters around the property.

The Baltimore County Council passed a bill in December giving zoning flexibility to the property.

Steelmaking operations began at Sparrows Point in 1889, most of the time under the ownership of Bethlehem Steel. The mill closed for good in 2012 when its then-owner, RG Steel, filed for bankruptcy. At the time, it employed 2,000 workers.