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Hancock working to buy SHA's former Western Regional Lab

The building has fiber optics and other amenities that would make it suitable for a call center or data center

July 15, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • The Hancock Town Council is taking steps to purchase the Maryland State Highway Administration's former Western Regional Laboratory.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

HANCOCK — Having experienced success in marketing the Stanley E. Fulton Industrial Complex to manufacturers, the Hancock Town Council is taking steps to purchase the Maryland State Highway Administration’s former Western Regional Laboratory.

The council voted unanimously on July 10 to tender its acceptance of an offer on the building through the state clearing-house process, Town Manager David Smith said.

The town could purchase the building from the state later this year for $110,000, he said.

The building and about 1 acre of land are in the 500 block of East Main Street, Smith said. The building is about 10,000 square feet and was closed about two years ago, he said.

The building has fiber optics and other amenities that would make it suitable for a call center or data center, Smith said. The town has contacted entities that might have an interest in the property, he said.

The town has been successful in marketing the Fulton complex, a 22-acre property with a 110,000-square-foot building now occupied by Evolve Composites Inc., a manufacturer of lightweight precast concrete utility pads and other products, Smith said last week.

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Since opening about 1 1/2 years ago, Evolve has hired 65 people, Smith told the council.

In addition, entrepreneur Jerry Spessard plans to construct a building on the Fulton property to make Eagle Eye Electronic Home Plates, Smith said. That project is in the permitting process and is expected to open in the fall, he said.

The Fulton complex had been a Fleetwood Travel Trailers plant until the facility was shut down in 2005. A businessman, Fulton donated money to the town to buy the property and market it to businesses to create jobs.

Over the past two decades, Hancock has lost hundreds of manufacturing jobs from the closure of the Fleetwood and London Fog plants, and the cessation of production at the Rayloc auto-parts facility.

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