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Jim Davis group identified as seeking to buy Sparrows Point

Anne Arundel County businessman is reported to be in negotiations for a large part of Sparrows Point

spt RG Steel sign

Time for a New Sign: In late 2012, the RG Steel sign still greeted visitors to the closed steel mill. In the background, the abandoned 68-inch hot strip mill.

Photo by: Mark Reutter

For the sixth time in 11 years, Sparrows Point is expected to get a new owner.

The first four were operating steel companies. The fifth was an out-of-town liquidator. The six, if all goes according to plan, will be the investment vehicle of Anne Arundel County businessman James C. (Jim) Davis.

Redwood Capital Investments was identified this afternoon by The Baltimore Sun and others as the mystery group negotiating to buy a large part of the former steel plant, which is being scrapped by Hilco Global, a Chicago-based financial services company who purchased the property with another investor in 2012.

The key parties involved in the prospective sale – which is expected to settle in the next two months – declined to be interviewed by The Brew, but did not deny that Redwood was the prospective buyer.

County executive Kevin Kamenetz said he has talked to the buyer, but could not publicly reveal its name because the transaction has not been completed.

The Davis Connection

The president of Redwood Capital Investments, R. Alan Butler, is a longtime employee of the Allegis Group, which Davis founded with his cousin, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. Davis and Bisciotti turned the start-up into a $6-billion international staffing company.

James C. (Jim) Davis. (Erickson Living)

James C. Davis. (Erickson Living)

Davis is currently chairman of Erickson Living, a chain of retirement communities based in Catonsville. Butler is its CEO.

In addition to Erickson Living, Redwood Capital has stakes in Windsor Healthcare Equities, Beltway Capital Management, Avantha Power & Infrastructure Ltd., and BDB Realty, which invests in grocery-anchored shopping centers, according to its website.

In a recorded message, the principals at Redwood were described as not available today. They did not respond to email messages seeking comment.

“Great Potential”

State Delegate John Olszewski Jr., who represents the Sparrows Point area, said he met with Michael T. Pedone and other Redwood executives last month, where they disclosed their interest in buying the mill property.

“If Redwood is the buyer, I believe that this signals great potential and promise for the entire Sparrows Point peninsula,” Olszewski said.  “Not only does Redwood have a significant capital base that would be necessary to cultivate a clean property and pro-growth environment at the site, but they also are a local company headquarters right here in Maryland.”

Olszewski is one of many Baltimore County officials who want to partner with the Maryland Port Administration to clean up the carcinogen-racked south end of Sparrows Point and build a deepwater port.

The county is trying to interest private investors to build manufacturing and logistics operations elsewhere on the site, which remains under a 1997 federal consent decree requiring major environmental remediation.

At their meeting, Redwood executives indicated that they had similar hopes in redeveloping the property, Olszewski said.

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  • Gerald Neily

    Let the buyers know that a Metro extension to Sparrows Point from Hopkins Hospital through Bayview and Dundalk would become eminently feasible as soon as the slow tinkertoy Red Line to Bayview is finally rejected.

    • ushanellore

      Get ready to be the target in the “shooting” gallery set up by our esteemed friend thatguysonheroin. Carry a bullet proof picture of the proposed Red Line as your Neily shield. I suspect the man owns a tinker toy called the Red Line–may be one of his Christmas decorations.

      • thatguysonheroin

        Ha! Nice. Wasn’t going to respond to this one actually. No need to anymore. I’ll let Gerry continue to publicly spank-it to his fantasies where Maryland rejects $1 billion in Federal money with no strings attached, but the reality is there is no state in the union dumb enough to do that.

        I have no reason to “debate” him on it, he’s simply wrong. The end.

        • ushanellore

          Remember the states that have rejected money from the feds to expand Medicaid as per ObamaCare.

        • James Hunt

          Small crack in the dam …

          http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/bs-md-red-line-funding-20140710,0,1412999.story

          Just a small one. Nothing to be concerned about, Red Line fans. Everything’s gonna be fine. Really.

          • Gerald Neily

            Kamenetz’ stance is a huge crack, actually, although there are so many cracks in the dam, it’s hard to tell really. Kamenetz insists that the West Red Line (the affordable part) be built first, which the MTA cannot do under its current plan.

          • Lizzie 58

            Love it when Don Fry of the Greater Baltimore Committee, who lives in Harford County, tells the rest of us what we must pay for.

            How is the GBC’s Rash Field, Inner Harbor 2.0 and the Pedestrian Bridge Plan coming along? How about the Arena? The do nothing Greater Baltimore Committee’s concern? We want to cut income taxes on the rich who live in the counties, but make less affluent residents pay through the nose in gas taxes and other fees. SOS, different day.

          • Lizzie 58

            Love it when Don Fry of the Greater Baltimore Committee, who lives in Harford County, tells the rest of us what we must pay for.

            How is the GBC’s Rash Field, Inner Harbor 2.0 and the Pedestrian Bridge Plan coming along? How about the Arena? The do nothing Greater Baltimore Committee’s concern? We want to cut income taxes on the rich who live in the counties, but make less affluent residents pay through the nose in gas taxes and other fees. SOS, different day.

        • thatguysonheroin

          Don’t want to waste my time responding to all of the nay-sayers under my post, so I’ll just respond to my own post… Read section 1C from Governo… umm, I mean Lt. Governor Brown’s campaign website: http://anthonybrown.com/vision/jobs/.

          Also, read the first line under “achieve smart growth”: http://anthonybrown.com/vision/environmental-values/

          The (soon to be) Governor is promising this in his campaign literature. It’s on the Federal budget. There is literally no stopping it.

          Unless Hogan wins…. BWAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

          • James Hunt

            YES WE CAN! count on Lt. Governor Next In Line (LtGovNIL) to advance the Red ‘n’ Purple Lines because he did such a bang-up job leading the MD Obamacare rollout.

            Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal recently noticed what an expensive, useless mess the Purple Line would be …

            [snip] “… Even using the Parsons Brinckerhoff predictions, the project seems misguided. According to the EIS, roughly two-thirds of the riders forecast to use the system by 2040 will come, not out of their cars, but from existing bus lines. In other words, reducing the number of cars on the road, which was once supposedly a key objective, is now a minor side effect of a system that will cost $150 million per mile—if it comes in at budget….” [snip]

            http://online.wsj.com/articles/mary-anastasia-ogrady-marylands-incredible-purple-people-mover-1403910560

            P.S. For some reason, if you Google “wall street journal maryland purple line” you can get access to the full article that the link above doesn’t provide.

          • James Hunt

            YES WE CAN! count on Lt. Governor Next In Line (LtGovNIL) to advance the Red ‘n’ Purple Lines because he did such a bang-up job leading the MD Obamacare rollout.

            Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal recently noticed what an expensive, useless mess the Purple Line would be …

            [snip] “… Even using the Parsons Brinckerhoff predictions, the project seems misguided. According to the EIS, roughly two-thirds of the riders forecast to use the system by 2040 will come, not out of their cars, but from existing bus lines. In other words, reducing the number of cars on the road, which was once supposedly a key objective, is now a minor side effect of a system that will cost $150 million per mile—if it comes in at budget….” [snip]

            http://online.wsj.com/articles/mary-anastasia-ogrady-marylands-incredible-purple-people-mover-1403910560

            P.S. For some reason, if you Google “wall street journal maryland purple line” you can get access to the full article that the link above doesn’t provide.

    • Lizzie 58

      Gerald: you should check out the landscaping “pits” on Howard Street between Lexington and Mulberry Street, put in this Spring by MTA/MDOT after they torn up the sidewalk installing new conduit. You wonder who in their right mind at MTA/MDOT thought that this was an improvement. They didn’t care because hell, it is only Baltimore City.

      You are giving these agencies too much credit when you assume they can handle tinkertoys.

      • CV resident

        Albeit a bit on-the-cheap, the pits aren’t so terrible, I think; it’s the absence of ongoing landscape care, and the dense presence of squashed chewing-gum on the sidewalks around the pits, that makes them look… pitiful.

        The need for, and the value of ongoing, proactive maintenance – particularly as opposed to hit-and-run cosmetic interventions – is something our city fathers would do us all a huge service to internalize.

      • CV resident

        Albeit a bit on-the-cheap, the pits aren’t so terrible, I think; it’s the absence of ongoing landscape care, and the dense presence of squashed chewing-gum on the sidewalks around the pits, that makes them look… pitiful.

        The need for, and the value of ongoing, proactive maintenance – particularly as opposed to hit-and-run cosmetic interventions – is something our city fathers would do us all a huge service to internalize.

      • CV resident

        Albeit a bit on-the-cheap, the pits aren’t so terrible, I think; it’s the absence of ongoing landscape care, and the dense presence of squashed chewing-gum on the sidewalks around the pits, that makes them look… pitiful.

        The need for, and the value of ongoing, proactive maintenance – particularly as opposed to hit-and-run cosmetic interventions – is something our city fathers would do us all a huge service to internalize.

    • CV resident

      Irrespective of whether the Red Line is evil, half of its length rendered as an extension of the Metro would render twice the value. Alone among transit lines in Baltimore, the Metro runs both fast and at frequent intervals: precisely as a transit line should.

  • Citizenpane

    It makes sense as an investment for Davis. Here’s why: They’re probably going to build a very special Erickson “Retirement Campus,” on the peninsula. What will be special about this one will be its close proximity to the “waterfront,” which will provide clients the option of having their failing elderly relatives who are residents of the community set adrift on ice floes, during winter months -when the money to pay Erickson’s exorbitant fees runs out.

  • r.p.

    We need somewhere to work not to Shop.

    • ushanellore

      And the fools in power don’t realize we cannot shop if we don’t work.

  • OxygenMaskedMan

    Watch those keywords of Manufacturing and Energy Production – translates into more smokestacks and burning trash shipped in from all over the East Coast to generate electric. 125 years of cancer production at Sparrows Point and Dundalk is enough!

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