Hershey weighs building plant near Frederick

September 07, 1991|By David Conn

Maryland and Frederick County officials are angling for an economic development plum, or something sweeter, in the form of a new plant the Hershey Foods Corp. might build just south of the town of Frederick.

The plant would be built for the Hershey, Pa., company's pasta division, said spokeswoman Natalie Bailey. Ms. Bailey also said RTC the site in Frederick County is competing with one in Winchester, Va., but would not say whether any other states were being considered as homes for the plant.

"Hershey Pasta Group has been reviewing a number of plant location sites in the northeastern United States," Ms. Bailey said. "Areas still under consideration include sites in Maryland and Virginia." She would not say when Hershey will make its final decision.

The Sun has learned the Frederick County site is the 180-acre Dutrow Farm located about two miles south of the town of Frederick. The property was sold to Washington, D.C., developer Allan Kay about three years ago for $8 million, according to John Smariga, a Realtor whose firm brokered the deal.

Mr. Smariga said Mr. Kay was forced to give up the property, which is zoned for industrial uses, to the bank about two months ago. Since then, he said, interest in the property has been expressed by state and county economic development officials who would not name the prospective buyer.

He said the property is accessible by railroad tracks and has county-supplied sewer, water, gas and fiber-optic capacity.

Ms. Bailey did not say how many people would be employed at the plant and said she was not aware of reports that it could support as many as 250 people. Neither Maryland nor Virginia officials would comment on the negotiations.

Ray Richardson, marketing manager for Virginia's Economic Development Department, said only that "it's confidential and ill-formed at this point."

Hershey employs 12,700 people worldwide. Its pasta group makes nine brands, including San Giorgio, Ronzoni and Delmonico, at six manufacturing plants.

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