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Gerber on way to Chambers-5 park

February 13, 1998|By DON AINES

Gerber on way to Chambers-5 park

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A major baby food company will occupy much of a $6 million, 240,000-square-foot warehouse to be constructed in the Chambers-5 Business Park.

The Chambersburg Area Development Corporation announced Thursday it closed a deal to sell 23.3 acres of land in its industrial park to Dermody OWEN Limited Liability Co. of Reno, Nev.

The deed in the Franklin County courthouse listed a sale price of $1.39 million.

Dave Sciamanna, executive director of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday that more than half of the building will be occupied by a distribution center for Gerber Products, of Freemont, Mich.


"They'll ship it in by rail and then truck it out," Sciamanna said. The baby food maker, however, will not run the distribution center.

Instead, it will be run by Owen Distribution, of Sparks, Nev.

"They'll all be working for Owen," Sciamanna said of the 65 jobs that will be created by the first phase of the project, which is scheduled for completion in August.

Pennie Marrujo, a spokeswoman for Dermody Properties in Reno, said it is Nevada's largest industrial real estate development company, with properties in Georgia, Arizona and Indiana, along with Chambersburg.

Dermody Properties and Owen Distribution are partners in several other ventures around the country, with Dermody handling the construction and Owen the distribution, according to Marrujo.

According to a Dec. 4 article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, Owen manages the in-bound and out-bound transportation, inventory and warehousing of clients' goods.

Marrujo said Dermody OWEN operates another distribution operation for Gerber in Indiana.

The general contractor for the Chambersburg warehouse will be Greenfield Builders of Greenfield, Ind., according to a CADC statement. The company is expected to use local contractors on the job.

A second phase is expected to begin in 12 to 18 months, according to the CADC statement. That will create another 150,000 square feet of warehouse space and 35 more jobs.

Marrujo said she did not have a cost estimate on the second phase.

A call to Owen Distribution regarding job descriptions and how much they will pay was not returned Thursday.

"I would say the vast majority will be jobs moving products" that will pay similar to the market rate for other warehouse jobs in the area, Sciamanna said.

Since development began at the Chambers-5 Business Park, approximately 2,000 jobs have been created there, according to the CADC.

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