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Work begins on Lippincott expansion

November 04, 1999

By BRENDAN KIRBY / Staff Writer

Photo by JOE CROCETTA / Staff Photographer


HALFWAY - With earth-moving machines already busy at work behind them, state and local leaders joined officials from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Thursday to officially kick off the firm's $10 million expansion project.

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The company, which distributes medical journals, hopes to move next September from its 12107 Insurance Way quarters into its new 180,000-square-foot building in Hunter's Green Business Center of Hopewell Road.

With the expansion, the firm plans to increase its 150-employee local work force by 30 percent to 40 percent over the next year.

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"It's going to be about twice as big as the place we're in now," said Maureen Connors, the company's vice president for distribution and fulfillment. "We're very, very excited."

For building in an enterprise zone, Lippincott is eligible for state and local tax breaks.

The new building will be 35 feet high and cover roughly the same space as more than three football fields.

In addition to more space, the building will provide a world-class distribution facility, company President Jay Lippincott said.

In an interview, Lippincott said he expects the amount of time it takes to process an order to drop from two to three days to one to two days.

Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony drew about 205 people.

"We are in a good mood. We are in a winning mood," said Herman Pabbruwe, CEO of International Health Care Publishing, a division of Lippincott's parent company, Wolters Kluwer.

Lippincott, which has been at two other locations in Washington County during the last 25 years, scouted other sites outside the state for the new facility.

Company officials said they decided to stay in Washington County because of its access to good roads and the quality of the local work force.

"Now we have a brand new home," said Lippincott CEO Ted Hutton. "We very much believe in all of you."

Local politicians hailed that decision.

"All too often, we hear about the bad things," said Washington County Commissioner Paul L. Swartz. "So it's up to us to cheer the good things from the rooftops."

Jim Hughes, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, said the state and county together have invested about $26.5 million over the last five years in improvements to roads, sewers lines and other amenities in the Hopewell Road area.

"This is becoming a habit, these groundbreakings in Washington County," he said.

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