Landis moving here

May 18, 2007|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. ? Under different owners and variations on its name, Cinetic Landis Grinding Corp. has been an industrial landmark in Waynesboro, but the company is leaving town to build a new $10.5 million plant in Washington County, according to company officials.

Landis, a global manufacturer of precision grinding systems primarily for the automotive and diesel powertrain industry, will move to a 28-acre site in the Newgate Industrial Park, according to a company statement. The plant will have 85,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a two-story, 24,000-square-foot office complex.

The business will be at 16778 Halfway Blvd. in the Halfway area, said Bob Mandley of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission. Landis will join FedEx Ground, Purina Mills and El Dorado Stone, businesses already operating at the business park off Hopewell Road.

The plant will bring with it "approximately 150 higher-paying jobs to Washington County," the statement said. The plant is scheduled to open in July 2008, according to the statement.


"We are extremely pleased that Cinetic Landis Grinding chose to move their new facility to Washington County," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said in the release. "Their decision is a testament to Maryland's strong manufacturing and technological foundation as well as our commitment to advancing market opportunities for business development."

"We worked hard with Cinetic, and we put our best foot forward to convince them to stay in the greater Waynesboro area," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp. (FCADC). That included incentive packages to keep the plant at its current site and "a very aggressive offer to build a new facility on Wharf Road," he said.

"It's moving 10 miles down the road. I don't think it's going to have a major impact on the regional economy," Ross said. "Nevertheless, Landis has had a presence for well over 100 years in Waynesboro, so having them leave Franklin County is very disappointing."

"We were very interested in making sure Landis stayed somewhere in the region, and we felt it was imperative we put our best foot forward to keep them here," Timothy Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said of the incentives package offered by the county and Maryland.

Troxell agreed with Ross that the move will have a nominal effect on the regional economy because Cinetic Landis is not leaving the area. He and Ross often have worked together to bring new businesses to the region for the benefit of both counties, Troxell said.

Ross said Thursday the package of grants, low-interest loans, job training assistance and other incentives offered to Cinetic Landis to stay in Pennsylvania totaled about $2 million, but Ross said Friday that the actual figure was $3,840,500. The FCADC, Waynesboro Industrial Development Corp., which owns the industrial park, Washington Township and Waynesboro worked together in crafting the incentives package, which included state loans and grants.

"From our perspective, it was all job retention," Ross said.

Matt Shockey, project manager for Cinetic Landis, said Friday that the 150 jobs going to the Washington County facility essentially are the same that now are at the Waynesboro plant.

"That was very important to the company that they were not going to negatively affect their work force," Troxell said.

Shockey said company officials would not be available Friday to field questions beyond what was in the announcement.

Cinetic Landis Grinding was acquired on Dec. 9, 2005, by Groupe Fives-Lille, and has been leasing the plant from the former owner, Intermec Inc. of Everett, Wash., according to the company statement.

"GFL has provided Cinetic Landis Grinding with the opportunity to build a modern, cost-efficient facility that better fits our business model," said Daniel L. Pheil, president of Cinetic Landis Grinding.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development will provide a $500,000 conditional loan through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Fund to help Landis buy the land, according to the company release. The department also will provide up to $45,000 for work force training through the Maryland Industrial Training Program, according to the release.

The company also will be eligible for Job Creation Tax Credits, and Washington County is offering a $50,000 conditional loan for the project, according to the release.

Staff writer Erin Julius contributed to this story.

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