GP considering two sites near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, for 1.5 million-sq.-ft. distribution center costing US$50M-$60M, creating 50 jobs; local developers seek real estate tax abatement break to help lure project

SHIPPENSBURG, Pennsylvania , May 29, 2014 () – Developers are seeking a real estate tax incentive to help lure a company to the Shippensburg area.

Pulp and paper company Georgia Pacific is considering two sites near Shippensburg for a distribution center that would create about 50 jobs.

Representatives from Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp., Franklin County Area Development Corp., and site selection firm KPMG asked the Shippensburg Area School Board to consider a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Abatement incentive.

"The I-81 and I-78 corridors have been extremely active with industrial projects," said Jonathan Bowser, CEO of CAEDC. "The one thing we have come to realize is that even though we have very desirable sites, there are other desirable sites in which local communities are going to incentivize the development. It's a very competitive environment."

The expectation is that the facility would open by July 2015, according to FCADC President L. Michael Ross.

Bowser said they are still waiting on details regarding the types of jobs at the proposed facility.

"This is a good project," Ross said. "I think the employment numbers are manageable given everything that's going on in Shippensburg with Procter & Gamble and Volvo. The employment numbers are such that we're not introducing another major challenge to the labor pool."

The LERTA incentive is extremely critical to recruiting the company, according to Bowser.

The company is looking to build a 1.5 million-square-foot distribution facility, signaling an approximately $50 to $60 million investment.

Two sites along I-81 near Shippensburg are under consideration:

--The ProLogis Park in Southampton Township, Cumberland County, near Exit 29;

--The United Business Park in Southampton Township, Franklin County, near Exit 24.

LERTA provides real estate tax breaks phased out over a period of several years.

The school district, counties and municipalities levy their own real estate taxes, but taxes to the school district would make up the largest share -- about 85 percent -- of the total real estate tax bill.

Both townships under consideration already have a LERTA incentive in place. Developers have not yet made formal presentations to Cumberland or Franklin county commissioners. Shippensburg Area School Board meets again June 16.

Marcus Rauhut can be reached at 262-4752.


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