County approves plan to bring chocolate company to White Marsh

By Alicia Reynolds and Amanda Bates
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writers

The Baltimore County Council approved a measure Monday evening that will help Ruxton Chocolates LLC to consolidate its operations into a new 100,000-square-foot facility in White Marsh.

The company, which owns Mary Sue Candies and Naron chocolates, hopes that the 10.9-acre site at 1412 Tangier Drive in the Baltimore Crossroads mixed-use development off Interstate 95 will be ready by June 2017, county officials said.

To help the chocolatier make the move from its current locations in Baltimore City and Pennsylvania to White Marsh, the council agreed this week to provide up to $8 million in economic development revenue bonds to finance construction of the site.

The bonds will be issued on behalf of 1412 Tangier LLC, the company that will build and own the new facility. According to Baltimore County documents, the bonds will  contribute to the construction of a 100,444-square-foot manufacturing facility, including the installation of furnishings, manufacturing equipment and issuance costs.

1412 Tangier LLC will lease the manufacturing facility to Ruxton Chocolates LLC, a chocolate and candy production company, according to information provided by the county.

The new facility is going to consolidate the company’s already existing operations, two from Baltimore City and one from Pennsylvania. Ruxton expects to increase employment from 45 to 67 personnel within three years, county documents say.

Site construction is expected to begin in October and be completed by June 2017, according to the county.

The amount of the revenue bond is not to exceed $8 million, according to county documents. 1412 Tangier LLC will have to repay the bonds and the county will not be held responsible if the bonds go unpaid.

Once issued, the bonds will be purchased by PNC Bank. The bond will be tax exempt with a 2.8 percent fixed interest rate.

The county will earn an annual fee of one-eighth of one percent from the bonds,  county documents said.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the economic development bonds are used by local governments to attract businesses to their areas. They are also a less expensive type of financing for private companies.

In other action, the council voted 7-0 to approve a state-mandated plan that demonstrates how the county will pay for programs designed to keep pollutants from washing off of blacktops, building roofs and other surfaces and into the Chesapeake Bay.

The county’s financial assurance plan will be filed with the state Department of the Environment.

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