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300 acres of depot land added to business park

May 07, 2002|BY STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Army has turned over the deed to more than 300 acres to be incorporated into the Cumberland Valley Business Park.

John Van Horn, executive director of the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority, which is charged with developing the business park on the southeast corner of the Letterkenny Army Depot, said he received the deed Friday.

This is the second transfer of land from the Army, as dictated in the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1995, which downsized the depot.

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The transfer included a little more than 327 acres, mainly south of Coffey Avenue, and joins 230 acres deeded to LIDA a few years ago.

Ultimately, 1,450 acres will be transferred for redevelopment.

Phase II includes about 65 acres of roads that, once upgraded, will be dedicated to Franklin County, Van Horn said.

Another 155 acres are leased, with buildings ready to transfer to local businesses. Another 43 acres make up the golf course, leaving 42 acres of raw land and about 19 acres of buildings.

"It's nice to receive a deed to land and have more than half already spoken for," Van Horn said.

The transfer of the land, which is only a fraction of the 17,000 acres the depot has retained, is significant for businesses locating in the business park.

"Companies have been in and waiting to purchase and get property in hand so they can secure funding for upgrades," Van Horn said.

The transfer is only limited-depth, meaning the Army will retain responsibility for everything below 8 feet while it continues to deal with possible groundwater contamination. That frees LIDA or any future land holder from the responsibility.

"We're taking a risk in limited-depth transfer because it is not taking place anywhere else in the country," Van Horn said. "But it's a good thing to utilize, otherwise we would be sitting idle like many others waiting for the military to transfer land."

The Phase III land transfer, which is about 200 acres of undeveloped land north of Coffey Avenue, probably won't happen until early next year, Van Horn said.

He said he is optimistic the land will be cleared from the National Priorities List and not be considered a Superfund site, as much of the other acreage is.

As LIDA takes ownership of Phase II, it also announced Monday that Ingersoll Rand plans to expand its Shippensburg, Pa., operations into a building in the transferred parcel.

The LIDA members approved a letter of intent from Ingersoll Rand for the potential lease of Building 56.

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