Maryland firms to build seafood distribution facility


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 18, 2014

Maryland, U.S.-based Merritt Properties announced it has entered into a joint venture with NAFCO and Congressional Seafood Co. on a 88,000-square-foot seafood distribution facility in Jessup, Maryland. The facility will serve as the company’s new headquarters, allowing them to centralize their operation with the opportunity for an 18,000-square-foot future expansion.

Adjacent to the Maryland Seafood Market, the building is being constructed on 5.5 acres of land purchased from the Maryland Food Center Authority (MFCA). The lot and building will be jointly owned by Merritt Properties and Stanley Pearlman, president of NAFCO. NAFCO and Congressional Seafood will be the initial tenant while Merritt Properties will serve as managing partner.

NAFCO and Congressional Seafood presently lease space with the MFCA at the Seafood Market, but the affiliated companies said they have outgrown their bays and are in need of their own facility.

“We are very excited to be bringing NAFCO and Congressional Seafood under one roof with the ground breaking of our new offices and food processing plant at the Seafood Market in Jessup,” said Jon Pearlman, VP, director of operations and HACCP coordinator at Congressional Seafood. “Howard County has been our home for the past 20 years and we're so happy we are able to build our new headquarters on familiar ground. We believe the state-of-the-art facility will raise the bar for food safety and enable us to continue to deliver the highest quality seafood to our customers throughout the mid-Atlantic.”

Currently, Congressional hand cuts more than 15,000 pounds of fish daily at the Maryland Seafood Market. They deliver their products to over 300 restaurants every day, with trucks reaching north to Newark, New Jersey and south to Richmond, Virginia. NAFCO is a full line fresh and frozen seafood processor, wholesaler and distributor. They process more than 20,000 pounds of fishery products using state-of-the-art equipment and deliver to more than 1,100 grocery stores daily. Their fleet of refrigerated trucks enables daily pickups from fish docks, all major airports and cold storage warehouses throughout the region.

“We have long appreciated the business-friendly mindset of Howard County. They clearly understand the critical role private business plays in the economic health of Maryland,” said Merritt Properties CEO Scott Dorsey. “Our positive relationship with the county has enabled us to move forward with this project, knowing that they will continue to be supportive of our development efforts, as well as the daily operations of NAFCO and Congressional.”

Merritt Construction Services, a division of Merritt Properties, will develop the USD 8.9 million (EUR 6.9 million) project as a 28-foot clear, tilt-up industrial/flex building with 8,000 square-feet of office. With site work currently underway, the project is expected to be completed by February 2015.

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