Schools, municipalities benefit from center sale

November 10, 2004|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The sale of an 862,000-square-foot distribution center last month has been a windfall for the Chambersburg Area School District, Guilford Township and Chambersburg.

"It's a very nice chunk of change," Chambersburg Area School District Business Manager Rick Vensel said of the $192,500 the district received as a result of the sale of the building that houses the Kmart Regional Distribution Center at 1475 Nitterhouse Drive.

The building was sold Oct. 14 by WCN Properties L.P. to AG/BVK Chambersburg Holdings L.P. of New York for $38.5 million, according to the deed filed with the Franklin County Register and Recorders Office.


Half of the 2 percent realty transfer tax goes to the state and the remainder is split between the school district and the municipalities, according to Register and Recorder Linda Miller.

The district received a half percent on the sale of the property, or $192,500. Guilford Township received $131,670 because more than 68 percent of the property is in the township and Chambersburg got a check for $60,830 for the approximately 32 percent in the borough, according to deed office records.

"That's not bad for one piece of property," said Dennis Perry, vice president of Franklin Storage Inc. "That's always a nice thing for us to be able to pass along."

"The real estate transfer tax has been very, very strong in the district for several years. It's a function of business activity and low interest rates," Vensel said. During the 2003-04 school year, Vensel said the district took in $1.35 million from real estate transfer taxes.

Chambersburg projected about $185,000 in real estate transfer tax receipts in its 2004 budget.

Perry said WCN Properties, the land development arm of Franklin Storage, began construction of the distribution center in 1999 and was ready to turn it over to Toys R Us as an online distribution center in September 2000. That plan fell through, however, and Franklin Storage operated the center before it was leased to Kmart.

The change in ownership will not affect the operation of the Kmart Regional Distribution Center, which Perry said has a long-term lease on the 1,800-by-480-foot building.

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