Chain bringing distribution center to area County Seat Stores picks Rosedale site

Retailing

March 04, 1998|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

County Seat Stores Inc., a youth apparel chain based in New York, will relocate its national distribution center to Baltimore County, creating about 250 jobs, company officials said yesterday.

The retailer has signed a 10-year lease with UPS Properties Co. for a 276,000-square-foot building at Marshfield Business Park, a speculative warehouse and distribution project in Rosedale.

"It was a combination of the right building being available at the right time," said Brett Forman, County Seat's executive vice president.

County Seat's distribution center will begin operating in May and will also include a warehouse outlet store, said Jim Lighthizer, vice president of CB Commercial Real Estate Group Inc., the Baltimore firm that represented County Seat in its search for a property.

Forman said the retailer wanted to move its distribution center from Minneapolis to the East Coast to be closer to most of its 411 stores -- including 25 in Maryland.

But Baltimore was not the lead contender. County Seat was near signing a lease agreement for a building in Norfolk, Va., but the space there was leased to another company, Lighthizer said.

Baltimore County became the next obvious choice because of the proximity of the port and the available labor pool, Forman said.

UPS was not far from leasing 50,000 square feet of the Marshfield building to another tenant before County Seat expressed interest, said John C. Childs, a vice president of the commercial realty brokerage firm Casey & Associates Inc., which represents the business park for UPS Properties.

Marshfield Business Park will ultimately include seven buildings, with two completed. The first, with 263,000 square feet, houses three tenants. County Seat will occupy the entire second building.

Construction of a 288,000-square-foot third building is to begin in April and should be completed in October.

"This is a heck of an endorsement for Baltimore County," Childs said. "All four tenants at Marshfield are from outside of the area. It's not a case of stealing business from other parks in the area."

"This is positive absorption."

County Seat emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection last October and is operating under new management.

Pub Date: 3/04/98

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