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T. Rowe Price officials say construction of new center going smoothly

November 16, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Construction is moving along swiftly on a T. Rowe Price backup data-recovery center being built at the intersection of Downsville Pike and Rench Road south of Hagerstown, a company official said.

Crews are putting up the structural exterior walls and steel, and intend to have the building roofed in by winter, said T. Rowe Price Vice President Mark Ruhe, who oversees the company's real estate.

Local economic development officials announced the project in February, when the Washington County Commissioners agreed to offer T. Rowe Price an $810,000 incentive.

The 60,000-square-foot center will be used to store critical company data as a precaution against emergencies, said Timothy R. Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

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T. Rowe Price, a global investment management organization, is based in Baltimore.

The county's $810,000 contribution is a conditional loan, which will be forgiven as long as T. Rowe Price fulfills its commitment to invest about $75 million in the project and create at least 17 new jobs, Troxell said in February.

The commissioners agreed to the incentive after Troxell pointed out that taxes on the new center would more than make up for the contribution, noting the county would take in about $7 million in real estate taxes on the center over 10 years.

Troxell said at that time that a "very minimal number of people" might be transferred from other T. Rowe Price locations, but most of the center's roughly 17 employees would be new hires.

However, Ruhe said recently the company planned to bring most of the center's employees from its facility in Owings Mills, Md.

"We might hire one or two people from the immediate area," he said.

Ruhe said that once construction is finished, it will take time for the facility to be operational. He said he expects operations there to begin in the summer of 2011.

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