Storage firm chooses Harford for headquarters

May 09, 1993|By Frank Lynch | Frank Lynch,Staff Writer

The Michel Warehousing Corp. plans next summer to move its corporate headquarters to the Riverside Business Park in Belcamp from Cockeysville, the first phase of a project that could dramatically increase Harford County's warehouse storage capacity.

The company, which builds and leases warehouse space for other businesses, is in the final stages of negotiations to buy 60 acres at the Riverside site.

Long-range plans call for a four-building, one-million-square-foot complex on land now owned by BLC Properties. The price is about $40 million for the land and construction of the buildings, the company said.

J. Kevin Michel, a senior vice president of the company, said the initial phase of the five-year project -- a 400,000-square-foot combination administration and warehouse building -- could start in August and be completed by summer 1994.

Michel Warehousing, which employs about 140 people, could hire 150 to 200 more workers if the complex is built as planned. The remaining three buildings would be built when needed.

"Ideally, I would like to have the entire project completed in 18 to 24 months," Mr. Michel said.

"We are close to securing two additional warehousing contracts that would amount to $9 million in new revenue, and we'd like nothing better than to place them in Harford."

He added that a contract of this type usually has a 3- to 5-year term.

"We have long admired the advantages of locating in Harford," Mr. Michel said.

"Its infrastructure, relative low cost of land and the accessibility to both Interstate 95 and railroad facilities make the county an attractive location for our company to entice new business."

The company has warehouses in Baltimore, Carroll, Harford (in William Paca Industrial Park near Abingdon) and Howard counties. Mr. Michel said the Howard location in Savage would shift to Riverside but the other three locations would remain in place.

"CVS, better known as Peoples Drugs, uses about 90 percent of our Carroll facility," Mr. Michel said. "It is ideally situated to service most the stores in their chain."

The same is true for the Cockeysville facility, which is used by Procter & Gamble.

"P&G, and its forerunner Noxell, has been with us since we opened that warehouse," the 40-year-old graduate of Boston College.

The company services about 107 accounts in 12 states and had sales exceeding $13 million in 1992.

Included among its customers are Tootsie Roll Industries, Max Factor, First Brand Corp., Kikkoman International and Grocery, Health and Beauty Aids.

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