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Kellogg's branch to open distribution center in Hagerstown

May 30, 2008|By ARNOLD S. PLATOU

HAGERSTOWN -- A division of the world's leading cereal-maker is to open a warehouse distribution center near Hagerstown this summer, a local official said Wednesday.

"I can confirm that a division of Kellogg's is coming," said Tim Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

"Obviously, we're very excited to have a corporate name of that significance coming," Troxell said.

He said Kellogg Co. has asked him not to disclose which division is coming or how many jobs it will bring.

An official of the company that will be Kellogg's landlord said earlier this year that the company probably would bring 35 to 50 jobs. Troxell would not confirm that figure.

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A spokeswoman for Kellogg, at the company's Battle Creek, Mich., headquarters, said Wednesday night she had not yet been given any information on the Hagerstown operation.

Kellogg will lease "a little over 215,000" square feet of the 554,000-square-foot distribution center that Liberty Property Trust is building on 145 acres in the Hunter's Green business park in the Hopewell area near Valley Mall.

Bob Mandley, of the economic development commission, said Kellogg is expected to start operations here in June or July.

Troxell said his office has been working with Liberty to bring Kellogg here since at least last August or September.

It was then, he said, that he learned "that there was a need from the company for a facility somewhere along the I-81 corridor. And we needed to work with Liberty to make sure we could get the facility built" by this summer.

"The big issue was if we could get the facility built in time," Troxell said.

Kellogg's deadline was met by using the county's "fast-track construction program. Basically, that allows for expedited permitting for significant economic development projects," he said.

The county government didn't grant any special tax incentives to land Kellogg, Troxell said.

Troxell said Liberty is talking to other companies about leasing the rest of the distribution center.

"I know there are a couple other decent-looking prospects that are out there, but at this point in time, to my knowledge, no one has signed a lease for the other part of the building," he said.

A Liberty spokesman could not be reached for comment.

According to its Web site, Kellogg posted sales of nearly $12 billion in 2007. In addition to making such brands of cereal as Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Special K, it is a leading producer of snacks, cookies and other foods with such well-known names as Keebler, Pop-Tarts, Eggo and Cheez-It.

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