Harford Week

October 31, 2004

Bata building demolished for corporate campus

The Bata building, a deteriorating Harford County landmark on U.S. 40 in Belcamp, is gone. The aging facility, former home of the Bata Shoe factory, and a deteriorating water tower, were demolished Wednesday afternoon to make room for further development of the state-of-the-art Water's Edge Corporate Campus - a $200 million mixed-use project.

Plans for the 41-acre site include hotel and restaurant facilities, eight one-story retail-service buildings, and four mid-rise office buildings.

Water's Edge developers Clark Turner and Manekin LLC are planning a landscape memorial on the property to commemorate the Bata Shoe factory and its company town, which once employed 3,400 and produced a variety of footwear. The Bata Shoe Co. was purchased by Ramer Equities in 2001 and named Onguard Industries. Today, Onguard employs more than 100 people at a newly constructed facility in Havre de Grace.

"The implosion of the Bata Building brings an end to an era; it is an important next step in Harford County's future and the rebirth of the Route 40 corridor. Route 40 has been a high priority of my administration. The vision and expertise that the Clark Turner/Manekin team has applied to this project has paid big dividends to our community," said County Executive James M. Harkins.

UCH System puts flu vaccine clinics on hold

Upper Chesapeake Health System has put on hold its previously announced flu vaccination clinics throughout next month because of shortages of the vaccine.

"UCH is working closely with the Harford County Health Department to distribute available flu vaccine to Harford County residents using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for persons who are at highest risk for complications from the flu," the health system said in a statement.

Community members can get updated information by calling the UCH flu vaccine hot line at 443-643-2800, Upper Chesapeake said.

APG training exercises to begin tomorrow

Aberdeen Proving Ground will hold training exercises tomorrow to Nov. 12 and Nov. 17 and 18, the base Test Center announced last week.

Both day and night exercises will be conducted, the Army said in its statement. Activities can include weapons firing and the use of multiple aircraft and watercraft, the statement said.

Change of command puts Nadeau in charge

The Army Research, Development and Engineering Command conducted its first change-of-command ceremony Thursday as Maj. Gen. John C. Doesburg relinquished command to Brig. Gen. Roger A. Nadeau on Aberdeen Proving Ground's Fanshaw Field.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command consists of more than 30,000 military and civilian personnel and full-time contractors, who are charged with moving technology out of the laboratories and into the hands of soldiers as quickly as possible, the Army said in a statement.

The command is responsible for 75 percent of the Army's science and technology objectives, the Army said. The command develops technology to provide the most advanced weapons, communication, clothing, food and vehicles, bringing together laboratories and research and engineering centers nationwide, the Army said.

Harford leads state in job growth, experts say

Harford County is leading job growth for the state, according to Anirban Basu, a Maryland economist and business analyst, writing in this month's Baltimore Business Journal Business Outlook.

Basu predicted continued growth for the county next year. "Harford County reported the greatest growth on a county-by-county basis, recording 6.7 percent growth between the first quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2003. Battelle, the Ohio-based science and high-technology pioneer, recently announced another major expansion in Harford County, which should help keep the momentum going," Basu said.

Battelle is among a number of new and expanding businesses in the county, including Safe Net, Worthington Armstrong Ventures, Rite Aid, Chesapeake Spice Co. LLC, Medline Industries and Nutramax Laboratories Inc., Harford County officials said.

Last month, the Army Corps of Engineers selected Opus East LLC to develop a 200-acre technology park at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The anticipated 2.5 million-square-foot complex could bring 8,000 to 10,000 jobs to the county, officials said.

Preliminary funding secured by the congressional delegation in January was the first step in the establishment of the Center for Anti-Terrorism and Security Training at APG. CAST, predicted to generate 200 jobs, will bring thousands of students to the county each year and opportunity for job growth in support industries, the county said. Scheduled for completion in 2008, the Water's Edge Corporate Campus in Belcamp also is anticipated to generate more than 2,000 jobs, the county said in its statement.

Sheriff's Office urges caution on Halloween

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