Developer proposes industrial site 'menu' List part of marketing plan that City Council will consider tonight

July 13, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore real estate developer who successfully lured importers to a special trade zone near the port of Baltimore is planning to market industrial properties in Taneytown.

Taneytown City Council is expected to endorse a proposal that consultant Stanley K. Ward calls "The Taneytown Initiative" at tonight's meeting.

The council will meet at 7: 30 p.m. at the city office, 17 E. Baltimore St.

"We want to market a menu of industrial sites within the city of Taneytown that will allow Taneytown to re-establish its industrial base and will offer [manufacturers] an industry-friendly city," Ward said.

Properties on Ward's menu are a 17-acre site adjoining Taney Corp. in the 5000 block of Allendale Lane and the closed Cambridge Rubber Co. complex in the first block of York St. in downtown Taneytown.

He also is negotiating with owners of the 117-acre Bollinger property on Route 194 at the northeastern edge of the city to market the industrially zoned land.

Ward is on a $2,500 retainer from the city to design a redevelopment plan for the Cambridge Rubber Co. facility, which has been vacant and deteriorating since the shoe manufacturer closed in 1986.

Mayor W. Robert Flickinger is enthusiastic about the possibility that Ward can develop a plan acceptable to Cambridge Rubber Co. Liquidation Trust, which owns the property.

"He's really going to try to move the Cambridge Rubber property. It's been a real eyesore to the community," Flickinger said.

A Finksburg beverage distributor moved into one building of the former shoe factory last year, but other buildings remain empty.

Public-private business development partnerships are not unusual, but Ward said this might be the first "on a small scale like this."

Marketing three properties under one umbrella creates "one whole, more significant than the parts, to make a bigger splash," he said. "We bring it together and say, 'Here, the city of Taneytown is offering you this menu of sites and you, Mr. real estate agent or Mr. site selector, come and look.' "

Ward is president of S. K. Ward Co., a real estate development company.

He became interested in marketing Carroll County industrial properties after Paul D. Denton, president of Maryland Midland Railway Co. and an active volunteer in county economic development efforts, introduced him to Carroll.

Taneytown's access to Interstate 70 via Routes 140 and 15 makes it attractive to industry, Ward said.

The other major asset he sees is the small-town work ethic that provides manufacturers a "trainable and retainable" work force.

Ward is former general manager of Baltimore's foreign trade zone, adjacent to the Dundalk and Seagirt marine terminals.

The zones, created by Congress in 1934, allow businesses to import and store goods without paying customs duties and taxes.

Baltimore's foreign trade zone, one of three in Maryland, grew by the early 1990s to one of the most successful in the world, attracting importers such as Absolut vodka and becoming a destination for the London metals exchange. He left the foreign trade zone in 1994 to start his real estate businesses.

Pub Date: 7/13/98

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