BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan described the redevelopment of a defunct Cecil County naval base as a “game-changing step forward” for Maryland during a ceremony on Thursday.

The Maryland state government plans to redevelop the Bainbridge Naval Training Center along with more than 400 acres along the Interstate 95 corridor in an effort to bring thousands of jobs to a part of Maryland that “is home to a major distribution and logistics market,” Hogan said in a social media post.

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Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger, representatives from MRP Industrial and the Bainbridge Development Corporation, as well as other state and local elected officials, joined Hogan at the ceremony.

During a brief speech at the event, Hogan noted that the redevelopment project will “will be a tremendous asset to help us continue to meet the need for more and more companies who are seeking to do business in the state of Maryland.”

The redevelopment project will help the state attract more companies seeking to do business in Maryland, he added.

“This warehouse space and industrial space along I-95 especially in Cecil County and Harford County continues to be in huge demand,” he said.

The one-time training center holds an important Maryland and U.S. history, Hogan said. 

The former naval base was a preparatory school for boys before it was purchased by President Franklin Roosevelt and refashioned for recruits.

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“Nearly 245,000 recruits were trained here throughout World War II,” Hogan said. “And the center was activated again in 1950 as we entered the Korean war and its final deactivation was commemorated here with a ceremonial flag lowering ceremony in 1976.”

The U.S. Naval Academy officially transferred the property back to the state of Maryland in 2000, Hogan said.

Two decades later, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deactivated training center caught fire. It took fire crews hours to contain the flames.

The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal later launched an investigation into the fire.

The redevelopment ceremony is one of many economic development announcements the Hogan administration has made in Cecil County in recent years. 

In July 2021, Governor Hogan took a helicopter tour of Principio Business Park, which covers more than 1,600 acres and is currently home to distribution facilities and office space for major companies including General Electric, Restoration Hardware, and Amazon, according to state officials. 

Also in July, Great Wolf Lodge broke ground on its largest resort, which will be located in Perryville, and Highline Warren—a manufacturer and distributor of automotive products—opened a state-of-the-art distribution center in Elkton, state officials said.

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A few months later, in October, Alo Yoga and BELLA+CANVAS—two Los Angeles-based clothing brands—opened a new distribution center in North East, a small town between Baltimore and Philadelphia, according to state officials.

CBS Baltimore Staff