A Baltimore flooring products distributor that bought the former Cardinal Industries modular home factory in January moved into the Glen Burnie building over the weekend.
J.J. Haines & Co. Inc. began shipping products yesterday from its new warehouse to retailers such as Carpetland, Advance Carpet and Hechinger.
The 225,000-square-foot warehouse on 35 acres on Aviation Drive has stood idle for two years. In 1989, Cardinal Industries, an Ohio-based builder of modular apartments, motels and single-family homes that was once a pioneer and leader in the industry, sought refuge from creditors in Ohio bankruptcy court. It closed the plant and laid off almost 400 workers.
Haines officials hope all 140 employees of its Baltimore branch transfer to Glen Burnie, executive vice president Mort Creech said. So far, he said, about 65 warehouse employees and drivers work out of the new plant.
When Haines bought the warehouse for $6.75 million Jan. 31 at a foreclosure auction, it was empty except for some of Cardinal's tools, building materials and partially finished modular units. All those have been sold at auction.
Creech said no major remodeling was needed. The company merely installed new shelving forits products, he said. The wholesaler sells Armstrong flooring, Shaw Mark Carpet, American Olean Ceramic Tile and Bruce hardwood flooring.
Workers continue to renovate the 16,000-square-foot, two-story office area, where the company will transfer its corporate offices from Baltimore by September, Creech said. The company will then rent out the 180,000-square-foot warehouse and offices at its overcrowded East Monument Street center.
The company, which employs 320people at nine branches in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina,Pennsylvania and Ten
nessee, chose the Glen Burnie site for its headquarters because of high ceilings, proximity to the airport and size that allows for expansion, Creech said.
"As our business grows,we'd certainly want to expand in the area," Creech said. He said he did not know how soon the company might hire more people.
Company officials have been working with county and state officials to designa proposed connector road between Hammonds Ferry and Hollins Ferry Road that will cut into Haines' property.
Creech said the State Highway Administration hasn't reached a final decision on the road's placement, but he said "the state and the county are working very well with us to help resolve it. We have no problem with them putting the road in."
The wholesaler's founder, John James Haines, was a Confederate soldier captured by federal troops in the spring of 1863. Afterwinning nearly $800 in gold during a poker game with Union guards the day before his release, Haines opened a general store in Upperville, Va.
He started a wholesale business on South Howard Street in Baltimore in 1874, selling baskets, tubs, grocers' sundries, home furnishings, wheelbarrows and kegs.