A 220,000-square-foot warehouse currently under construction in North Lebanon Township is expected to bring approximately 100 new jobs to the area.
The building, which is being constructed by Scannell Properties, is located on a 32.16 acre site within Lebanon Rails Business Park and expected to be completed by year’s end, with the building’s tenant planned to be moved in and operational by early 2020.
The tenant will be Vistar. The company is a distributor of food products and other goods for industries including vending & micro markets, concession stands, campus retail, hotels, and corrections facilities.
The building will be equipped to handle distribution needs for the company. Susan Eberly, President of the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, which manages the Lebanon Rails Business Park, told LebTown that resources are being shared with Vistar regarding employment assistance, training, and workforce data, with the goal of making the company’s move into the facility as seamless as possible.
The Lebanon Rails Business Park also offers a LERTA tax abatement to its occupants.
A tax abatement is a temporary reduction or elimination of property taxes.
LERTA stands for Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, a program created by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that dates back to 1977 with a purpose of reinvigorating aging properties.
Both the county and Cornwall Lebanon School District participate in the LERTA which is a five year period with 50% abatement. North Lebanon Township does not participate in the program.
Lebanon Rails Business Park is located just north of the Lebanon Valley Mall, with easy access to one of the newest extensions to the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail (an extension made possible by a land grant to LVRT by LVEDC).
The deal, which has been in the works since last November, gave Scannell Properties early access to the site while the company worked through the land development process. Eberly noted that LVEDC was pleased with the quality of the facility’s design and the company’s willingness to work through hurdles as it tried to secure the location for its potential tenant.
“We are pleased to bring this quality developer into the community,” said Eberly. “Scannell Properties assisted with some challenges that were unique for the site and they were a pleasure to work with.”
“The Board and I are grateful that we continue to attract and retain quality development opportunities.”
According to county land records, the purchase of the site (3160 Hanford Drive) was finalized on October 15 with a sale price of $1,939,986. An LLC connected with Scannell Properties was the acquiring entity, and Eberly said that Vistar will hold a long-term lease on the facility.
Established in 2004, the Lebanon Rails Business Park was created by LVEDC with land donated by Hershey Foods and the late Jim Hanford. According to its website, the non-profit LVEDC’s mission is “to create and to stimulate a local economy which provides gainful employment and business investment opportunities not only for the current generation but for generations to come.”
The Business Park currently encompasses 164 acres adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Railway, with 60+ acres still available.
Davis Shaver contributed reporting to this article.