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Franklin County reaches out to sell industrial sites, buildings

April 02, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Throughout Franklin County, there are 23 industrial sites and 19 buildings available for sale or lease, use or reuse, and L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, is helping to market them.

Each week, Ross picks a different site or building and broadcasts it over his e-mail system to reach as many potential buyers as possible.

Two weeks ago, the featured property was a 37,500-square-foot old Landis Gardner, a Unova Division factory building on the corner of West Eighth and South Church streets in Waynesboro, Pa. The asking price is $475,000, according to a description of the building on Ross' e-mail.

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The contact person is Waynesboro Realtor Ronnie Martin.

Last week, Ross featured the lots in Progress Park, an industrial park owned by the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation.

Three of the lots in the park are sold. The other 22 sites are for sale at prices ranging from $65,000 to $80,000, according to Ross' e-mail.

The contact person is David Sciamanna at 717-264-7101.

Ross said about half of the properties he promotes each week are owned by nonprofit groups such as the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation, the Cumberland Valley Business Park, the Wharf Road Industrial Park and others. The other half are privately owned, he said.

"Our primary role here is to find sites for companies wanting to move here or who are here and who want to expand," Ross said.

He hopes to increase the inventory of available properties to get a better mix of size, location and features, he said.

"Our goal in doing this is to bring economic development to Franklin County," Ross said.

"We don't receive commissions if the properties are sold and we are not paid to keep properties in the inventory," he said. "When a company comes looking, we just try to give them some options."

Buildings in the inventory range in size from 5,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet.

"Our biggest challenge is that we don't have a great deal of inventory," Ross said. "We're looking for more industrial buildings that are around 25,000 square feet."

Once a site or building is bought or leased, the Franklin County Area Development Corporation can help the industry with funding and training programs and assist in getting tax credits, Ross said.

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