Nearly 3 million square feet of warehouse space has opened or is under construction in South Annville Township, with another 2.5 million square feet already planned. Here’s your guide to Lebanon County’s newest industrial park.
The industrial park is rising on land previously owned by MFS, which also has a “doing business as” name of Eastern Land Resources Co. Below you’ll find details on the current status of warehouse facilities for The Hershey Company, DHL, and NorthPoint Development.
Let LebTown take you on a bird’s eye tour….
DHL’s Clear Spring Logistics Park will contain 3 million square feet of warehouse space once the planned set of three warehouses is complete.
The first building in DHL’s Clear Spring Logistics Park is tentatively scheduled to be completed around June 2024, said a DHL spokesperson. That appears to be the proposed warehouse “B” in the company’s original plans for the site – a 1 million-square-foot warehouse.
DHL acquired the 198-acre site from MFS in August 2022 for approximately $20.1 million. The company estimates that it will spend $283 million on construction of the overall facility.
The company also received a $3 million grant from Pennsylvania’s Multimodal Transportation Fund to fund a planned roundabout at SR 934 and Clear Spring Road, as well as other transportation improvements. (Watch LebTown for an update on that project soon.)
The DHL project obtained a tax abatement under the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA) from South Annville in February 2022 (PDF).
“We are excited to build on DHL Supply Chain’s presence in central Pennsylvania, and are grateful for the partnership with S. Annville Township and Lebanon County for the support they have provided on this project,” said the spokesperson.
“Over the next few years we hope develop new operating sites and with that provide new employment opportunities for the community.”
The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company was the first to begin construction of a facility in the burgeoning industrial park. Hershey bought its 90-acre site from MFS in June 2019 for $9.2 million.
Groundbreaking for the project took place in July 2020. The 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center became operational in October 2021, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony in June 2022. Hershey estimated total project costs to be $178 million.
The facility is a digitally integrated manufacturing or production facility with attached warehouse space for storage. Currently production efforts are centered around the packaging of snack-size products from across Hershey’s manufacturing network into assortments for everyday and seasonal items.
At present, the facility has a headcount around 430 people, according to Matthew Hawley, director of the Annville Fulfillment Center (AFC). The facility is jointly operated with DHL. Hawley said that there are 60 salaried positions (42 DHL and 18 Hershey) and 370 hourly positions (350 DHL and 20 Hershey).
Hawley noted that included in these counts are 19 Mechatronics Techs on the Hershey team and approximately 100 skilled positions (machine operators) with DHL.
“This is an important call out at this differentiates us from a warehouse in that these are higher paying positions than typical warehouse roles,” said Hawley.
Employment opportunities are projected to grow in the future.
“By 2025, we expect total full-time headcount for Hershey to grow to approximately 60 with the majority of the additional headcount comprised of additional Mechatronics Techs and salaried planning resources,” said Hawley. “DHL headcount is TBD but will be over 200 additional employees.”
Hawley said that the facility is performing very well right now, and ahead of projections.
“We have delivered on the strategic objectives of automating assortment bagging, delivering world class safety and quality, reoptimizing Hershey’s customer geography and providing momentum and learnings for Hershey’s transformation to digitally integrated manufacturing,” said Hawley.
Hershey’s original plans for the site included a 333,000-square-foot expansion, but no timeline has been established for its construction at this time.
“We’re pleased with the performance of the AFC to date, but don’t want to commit to timing for the next phase at this time,” said Hershey spokesperson Todd Scott.
Hawley said that Hershey has pledged $100,000 to support the expansion of the Annville Free Library, and specifically build out of the youth library. The gift will include recognition of Milton Hershey.
Hawley also mentioned partnerships Hershey has with the Annville-Cleona School District and Lebanon County STEM Workforce Development effort “to advance awareness of and opportunities for STEM careers in Lebanon County.”
EaglePoint Logistics Center will be the next facility to open in the South Annville Township industrial park. A company spokesperson said the facility is nearing completion and expected to receive a temporary certificate of occupancy in June.
The EaglePoint facility will consist of a single 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse that can later be expand to 1.3 million square feet. The company said the building will feature 40-foot clear ceiling heights, up to 204 loading doors, 655 car parking spaces, and 308 dedicated trailer storage spaces.
Additionally, the company said that the project will include cross-docked configurations (allowing items to be packed from a source without an intermediary storage step) and 185-foot-deep truck courts (providing easier maneuverability for users).
A NorthPoint Development spokesperson said they are unable to disclose any information on behalf of any potential tenants, and that further buildout will be dependent on tenant needs, with no specific timeline to share at this point.
The property is being leased through JLL.
The land for the EaglePoint facility was acquired by NorthPoint Development from MFS for just over $12 million in December 2021. NorthPoint Development has estimated total project costs to be $103 million.
NorthPoint Development obtained a LERTA abatement from South Annville Township in October 2021.
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