The state Board of Public Works gave the Maryland Port Administration the go ahead to spend up to $92.5 million to acquire a 103-acre parcel at Point Breeze for Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal, a spokesperson for the MPA confirmed Friday.
The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) has been given the go ahead to purchase a large piece of land pursuant to its planned expansion of the Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore, an MPA spokesperson confirmed Friday.
The state Board of Public Works has granted MPA approval to spend up to $92.5 million to acquire a 103-acre parcel at Point Breeze. The land, which is currently owned by Breeze Point LLC, will be used for additional storage space for containers and roll-on/roll-off cargo.
Port Administrator James J. White said MPA will likely end up using about 70 acres and selling the other 33-acre section to a third party, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun newspaper.
Baltimore is one of only three ports along the U.S. East Coast equipped with the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the larger containerships being deployed on the transpacific trade between Asia and North America – the other two being Miami and Norfolk.
The mid-Atlantic port posted record cargo volumes in 2016, with general cargo growing 5 percent to 10.1 million tons and containerized freight up 3 percent to 538,567 total containers compared with the previous year. But questions remain about its ability to attract long-term liner carrier business given the extra costs associated with steaming up the Chesapeake river to reach the port.
Correction: A previous version of this story indicated the land purchase was part of a $1.3 billion public-private partnership between MPA and terminal operator Ports America Chesapeake to expand the Seagirt terminal. A spokesperson for MPA said the Point Breeze land purchase was completely separate from that project.