Meeting provides plenty of spin, little substance regarding TPA’s claims
With a camera crew in tow, we arrived at the TPA meeting early. Mr. Arron Tomarchio, VP of Corporate Affairs, greeted everyone with a handshake and a thank you for attending the meeting.
I observed the FedEx display table set up with some handout material, and I approached a woman at the display who was very polite and helpful. She provided me with a handout with the title of “‘Tis the season for seasonal jobs.” The first thing I noticed was the starting wage–up to $13.50 per hour to start.
I then asked the woman if these jobs were full- or part-time positions. She stated they were part time. I then asked if they include benefits and she stated that they did not. I then asked how many jobs were available. The woman said there are 50 jobs available for the Christmas season. I proceeded to ask her how many jobs were at the FedEx complex in total. She responded with a figure of “somewhere around 250.”
It was a pleasant exchange that revealed a host of information that cuts deeply into the propaganda we’ve been fed about the economic impact of TPA.
What was interesting about the meeting and update of TPA’s activities, including an MTA bus route starting at Bayview and running to TPA, was that the meeting was scheduled from 6 to 7 pm. However, the meeting actually ran much shorter than the allotted time. Was there not enough fluff to fill in the large gaps among the substance?
We are going to reverse the video our camera crew captured and start off with the most important part of the meeting–question and answer time when Mr. Tomarchio took the podium and responded to numerous queries from the audience and media.
Let me digress a moment and say that I use the word “media” rather loosely because, although there were other members of the press at the meeting, only the Post asked any questions.
The Baltimore Post has never shied away from asking the tough questions and seeking the truth. You will notice our journalistic endeavors after viewing the video below, specifically the Q&A portion of the meeting, where we accomplished our goal.
So let’s begin with our questions regarding a main topic of the evening–whether or not UA was coming to Tradepoint via signing a lease after the building to house the sports apparel company was built, yet remained vacant.
Our question was very specific as related to UA and the information The Baltimore Post had obtained through land records. What we found was not a signed lease by UA, but rather a Memorandum of Option to Lease. The deadline for this agreement was midnight on October 31. What this means is that, even though the building was built for UA, the company had not signed a lease with TPA.
Pay close attention to Mr. Tomarchio’s response regarding this matter. Mr. Tomarchio stated, “Buzz we don’t build a 1,300,000 square foot facility on a handshake.” Mr. Tomarchio went on to say, “We have a deal with UA and are very proud to have them here and they will be operational in the spring of 2018.”
The truth of the matter is the building that Mr. Tomarchio alluded to as having been built by TPA is not exactly correct. Take a close look at this photo and you will see the letters FCL just after the UA name.
Now below you will see the land records dealing with TPA’s “Memorandum of Option to Lease,” which should have been signed by midnight of October 31 to consummate the agreement between UA and TPA.
To confirm whether or not a lease was signed, The Baltimore Post sent the following email to the UA Media Relations unit of the company:
UA Media Relations:
Can you please advise whether a lease agreement with TPA has been signed regarding the current building on the TPA site?
You will also notice in our question we mentioned the fact that UA was facing some difficult times regarding their financial situation, as listed below in their latest stock market earnings; those earnings dropped even further than the $14 per share posed in the question to Mr. Tomarchio.
From there, things only get worse, as these reports in The Baltimore Sun indicate.
The Sun continued it’s coverage on UA with another article that continues to show the decline of the once promising sports apparel company. Please take note that The Baltimore Post reported on this issue well before the Sun decided to shed some real light on these troubling times for UA.
Before we wrap this up, there was one more question posed to Mr. Tomarchio regarding the estimated half billion dollar tax credit that TPA will receive after it builds out. Here is a quote from Forbes Magazine:
Jim Davis. Jim Davis is cofounder of Allegis Group, the world’s largest privately-held staffing company. He founded Allegis (then called Aerotek) in 1983 with his cousin Steve Bisciotti, who is also a billionaire. Allegis now has offices on four continents and boasts annual revenue north of $11 billion.
Now for those of you who actually take the time to watch the video we provided, please be aware that TPA’s major announcement concerning new job opportunities included a request for two forklift operators in addition to the available part-time positions being offered by FedEx. The TPA executive actually wanted to thank the politicians who supported TPA’s efforts of getting more of our hard earned tax dollars.
Now The Baltimore Sun may refer to this FedEx opening as a celebration, but the Post would prefer to use the term “catastrophe.”
The Baltimore Post will stay on top of this issue because of the tremendous impact TPA will have on the entire east side of Baltimore County, specifically pertaining to dredging, low-wage jobs, huge tax breaks, and the potential for 28,000 tractor-trailers per day driving right through your community. If anybody questions those numbers, please email us and we will provide you with the traffic study that specifically deals with this issue.
NOTE: The Baltimore Post received the following email just prior to going to publication with this article:
A lease agreement has been signed and executed.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
ADMINISTRATION & CORPORATE AFFAIRS
The Post attempted to verify the information provided in the email by checking the following sites: TPA news, UA news, and The Baltimore Sun. We did not find anything announcing the signing of a lease agreement.
The below document was sent to The Baltimore Post by TPA in a follow-up to a request prevarication of a signed lease.
Please click on the image to view the full document
Fact or fiction? As always, “you read; you decide.”