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BALTIMORE-Ports American Chesapeake and the state of Maryland have finalized a 50-year, $1.3 billion lease first announced in November at Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The 50-year lease involves redesigning existing operations at the Dundalk facility, constructing a 50-foot berth, and building and operating a new warehouse/distribution center. McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA) partner Keith Mason, and Stephen Goldsmith, former Indianapolis Mayor, and an independent consultant to the firm, served as strategic advisors to the transaction.

As part of the deal, Ports America is making a $100-million payment to the Maryland Transportation Authority for infrastructure work on roads, tunnels and bridges. The building is timed to deliver as the Panama Canal’s infrastructure work to expand the size of the ships it can accommodate is complete, in 2014. With the new locks at the Panama Canal, East Coast ports are expected to be more competitive in processing imports from Asia.

The Port of Baltimore has already provided a boost to local industrial performance with the enhancements it made to its commodity handling facilities.

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