Former steel processing plant trades for nearly $6.6 million

27 October 2015

A New Jersey aluminum and steel supplier said Monday it has purchased a new warehouse in Essex for nearly $6.6 million, as increased expectations of speedy deliveries boost need for storage space.

Empire Resources, which has been operating out of about 122,000-square-feet in Baltimore County as well as leased space, plans to consolidate in the 215,000-square-foot building at 8911 Kelso Drive, said Nathan Kahn, its president and CEO.

The company looked in Virginia and New Jersey but decided to stay in the Baltimore area where it has had a presence for decades and is close to the port. Empire Resources ships as many as 20 to 30 truck-loads of aluminum a day from its current Baltimore space, Kahn said.

"We've just outgrown our current facility," Kahn said. "Demand … for just-in-time delivery has driven us to increase our stock."

Empire Resources, a publicly traded firm, reported more than $582 million in sales in 2014, with net income of about $3.7 million. The company plans to sell its current Quad Avenue building, where the firm employs about 20 people. Kahn said the move is not likely to result in layoffs and could create need for additional workers.

The 8911 Kelso Drive property was previously owned by a unit of Worthington Industries, which ran it as a steel-processing plant, according to Cushman & Wakefield, the brokerage firm that represented Worthington on the deal, which closed this month. Worthington employed more than 50 people there in 2014 when it closed the facility after the bankruptcy of RG Steel and end of steel operations at nearby Sparrows Point.