PORT DEPOSIT — The Bainbridge Development Corporation got an idea of what the finished product will look like once the former Bainbridge Naval Training Center property is developed.
D. Reid Townsend, principal with MRP Industrial, gave the quasi-governmental board a hint of the possibilities by reviewing his past successes attracting such businesses as Wayfair and The Container Store; both of whom came to Harford County and set up massive distribution centers.
“We anticipate creating 1,500 jobs with phase 1,” Townsend said, adding these will be good paying jobs for those in the warehouse and logistics fields. “Those 1,500 jobs does not count the truck drivers that will be needed.”
Carl Roberts, chairman of the BDC, said these would be jobs that both Cecil College and Cecil County Public Schools are offering training for now.
“These will be very sophisticated types of jobs,” Roberts said, adding more needs to be done to let the public know about the kinds of employees that these highly automated facilities would need.
Townsend noted it is a misconception that automation means less workforce.
“It takes more employees to run the automation,” he said, adding that “a wide range of jobs will be created.”
Townsend displayed drawings showing the placement of each of the four buildings to be constructed; the first of which will be 1.7 million square feet.
“The first phase (all four spec buildings) could be up to 3.8 million square feet,” he said.
Some two miles of brand new road would be built on the site and, when complete, would be deeded back to Port Deposit. Acceleration and deceleration lanes would be added to Tome Highway and Perrylawn Drive; both of which are state roads.
The building most likely to be visible from the road — along Jacob Tome Highway — would be built with more curbside appeal.
“You’re not going to drive down Jacob Tome Highway and see a long building and a lot of truck traffic,” Townsend said. “You will see offices.”
The art shows a large bank of windows instead of a long, industrial wall at street view.
Townsend said work will begin soon on the infrastructure to the site.
“The utilities from the naval base are no longer viable,” he explained.
Baltimore Gas and Electric will run a new natural gas line, Delmarva Power will run electric and Artesian will bring water to the four spec buildings. Cecil County will run the wastewater line. “We expect the sewer to be ready by next spring.”
With all the construction on the 440 acres included in Phase 1, Townsend said there will still be 200 acres of green space and forested area.
MRP expects to go to settlement on the property this summer. Once that is finalized plans will be made for a groundbreaking ceremony.