Distribution center may be in city's future

November 06, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

The Home Depot Inc. is exploring whether to open a distribution center in the Hagerstown area, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Home Depot has advertised for help wanted in The Herald-Mail newspapers because its subsidiary, Your Other Warehouse, is opening a 450,000-square-foot warehouse in Hagerstown.

Home Depot spokeswoman Karen Haggerty would not say which subsidiary would be in the distribution center. Your Other Warehouse is a premiere plumbing distributor, she said.


Company officials expect to make an announcement about the distribution center in the next two weeks, she said.

"We're very optimistic that we'll be able to get a positive announcement about this project," said Tim Troxell, executive director for the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

Haggerty and Troxell would not say how many people the distribution center might employ.

Haggerty said Home Depot was working with Washington County and Maryland officials concerning the project, but wouldn't say what they had discussed.

Troxell said they discussed the usual topics related to a potential new business. Those include financing, tax breaks, workforce assistance, transportation and available buildings and sites.

Home Depot has looked at the former TruServ distribution center and one other existing empty distribution center that Troxell would not identify.

The former TruServ distribution center at 16500 Hunters Green Parkway was bought by New Boston Fund, a Boston-based real estate investment fund, in July.

New Boston is actively marketing the building, which is 824,298 square feet and can be expanded to 1.2 million square feet, said Andy Baron with Pan Communications in Andover, Mass. Pan is the public relations firm for New Boston.

New Boston officials are not disclosing any more information about potential tenants at this time, Baron said.

The former TruServ building is the largest empty building that the EDC is marketing, Troxell said. He was not aware of anything larger in the county that is empty.

The next largest available spaces are in the Pangborn Building on Pangborn Boulevard, the Newgate I building on Hopewell Road and the BF Goodrich/Rohr Building on Showalter Road, Troxell said.

Home Depot's other companies include Home Depot, Maintenance Warehouse, EXPO Design Center, and plumbing wholesaler Apex Supply Company, Haggerty said.

TruServ, which had 295 workers in early 2002, had one employee remaining at the distribution center as of Wednesday, TruServ spokeswoman Shelley Hughes said. Most of the employees were gone by January.

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