Procter & Gamble looks at three Harford sites

February 14, 1993|By Frank Lynch

Harford County may have lost Coca-Cola but chances appear good it will gain Procter & Gamble.

The Cincinnati-based conglomerate is considering three Harford sites and one in Baltimore County as possible locations for a 400,000-square-foot distribution center.

"We're currently looking at various sites in both Harford and Baltimore, but a decision hasn't been made yet, said Kerry Desberg, the public affairs manager for P&G at Hunt Valley.

Among the sites P&G is evaluating are:

* The 350-acre Riverside Business Park, owned by BLC Properties Inc. of Belcamp.

* A 40-acre parcel in Fashion Park in Joppa, owned by Baltimore developer Leroy Merritt.

* The 403,000-square-foot former Channel Home Center building Perryman, under lease to wholesale grocery distributor B. Green & Co.

* A 122-acre industrial tract in White Marsh owned by Nottingham Properties of Baltimore County.

The 400,000-square-foot plant, which would encompass 11 acres and use a high-tech merchandise stacking system, is expected to create about 100 jobs. Construction costs could reach $25 million.

That figure, however, does not include $1.5 million to $2 million needed for land acquisition and $1.2 million for annual rent.

Paul Gilbert, president of BLC Properties Inc., declined to discuss any projects under consideration. "We are negotiating with several major companies for various sites in our business park," he said.

George Harrison, a spokesman for Harford County said, "We would welcome [to Harford County] a company with the worldwide recognition enjoyed by Procter & Gamble. It's flattering to hear such a company is considering Harford. We are currently working with several companies of that size, but I can't confirm that any of them are Procter & Gamble."

Should P&G select any of the mentioned sites, it would join other major companies, such as Merry-Go-Round Enterprises, Mercedes-Benz of North America, The Gap and General Electric, that took advantage of the strategic Mid-Atlantic location of the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Since P&G bought the Noxell Corp. in September 1989 for $1.3 billion, the world's largest manufacturer of household goods has made a major commitment to the Baltimore area. It moved the operations of its Max Factor cosmetic line to Noxell's former headquarters in Hunt Valley.

P&G employs about 1,600 people locally, including 300 at its liquid soap manufacturing plant on Nicholson Street in the Locust Point section of Baltimore.

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