Calif. retailer to open warehouse, distribution center in Sept. in Essex

100 jobs could result over six months

Home furnishings

July 09, 1999|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A California-based retailer is opening a warehouse and distribution center in an Essex industrial park that will bring in up to 100 jobs over the next six months.

Restoration Hardware, a specialty home furnishings store, will open its East Coast distribution center in September in the Marshfield Business Park in the 8400 block of Kelso Drive.

The company, based in Corte Madera, signed a seven-year lease with UPS Properties for 276,000 square feet of warehouse space in a building vacated by County Seat, an apparel maker that has filed for bankruptcy protection.

William Ashton, Restoration Hardware's director of distribution, said the facility will be a base for shipping the company's furnishings and decorative hardware sold in stores and catalogs.

He said it will have 40 employees when it opens, with the number of employees to increase to 100 in six months.

The proximity to the port of Baltimore, a favorable lease arrangement, the labor market and the location in one of the county's two enterprise zones were factors in the decision, Ashton said.

The enterprise zones are set up to attract businesses through property tax incentives and tax credits. The other is in the Halethorpe area.

The location along a CSX rail line and the Baltimore Beltway near Interstate 95 also makes it a good distribution center site, Ashton said.

"It's a good move for us as we position ourselves to handle the East Coast market," Ashton said.

The company has 70 stores in the United States and Canada, and by the end of the year plans to open 20 more, including one at The Mall in Columbia, he said.

The nearest store now is in Tyson's Corner Mall, he said.

"I think they found the right market at the right time," said Fronda J. Cohen, director of marketing and communications for the county Department of Economic Development. "They've gone nationwide very rapidly."

The 83-acre Marshfield Business Park is home to several tenants scattered among two other buildings, including Baltimore Census 2000 Data Capture Bureau, Motion Industries, WIT Transportation and Public Storage, Pickup & Delivery.

A fourth building at the industrial park is expected to open next month.

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