$2.3 million distribution and trucking dispatch center planned at Starpointe, but for whom?

Barbara S. Miller
Observer Reporter

Development of a 31-acre tract as a distribution facility and trucking dispatch operation in the Starpointe Business Park, Hanover Township, is on the horizon, but what will be distributed from there and by whose trucks was not divulged Wednesday at an agenda-setting session convened by the Washington County commissioners, who have been asked to approve the sale of the land for $2,325,000.

Dan Reitz, executive director of the Washington County Council on Economic Development, which has a sales agreement with Scannell Properties of Indianapolis, showed the commissioners drawings of a 507,000-square-foot building with about 11.64 acres under roof, which is in the design and permitting stage. One side of the building is 975 feet long, “or three-plus football fields,” Reitz said.

Reitz described the structure as a masonry building with 90 garage doors.

Completion is proposed for mid-2018. Once it’s up and running, the distribution center is expected to employ 90, while the trucking dispatch operation will have between 110 and 125 workers.

Commissioner Harlan Shober asked, “These are new jobs?”

“Correct,” Reitz replied, adding that he couldn’t say much because he has signed a confidentiality agreement with Scannell, and referred any additional comment to the developer.

Commission Vice Chairman Diana Irey Vaughan, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Commissioner Larry Maggi, noted the presence of a guard house on a drawing.

After the meeting, she addressed the aura of secrecy.

“The commissioners have not been given all the information, therefore we have not been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement other than knowing there is definitely a tenant the builder has for this project. We’re excited to see that we’re going to be able to move forward with more development in the park.

“If it is not the largest development, it will be one of the largest business developments in Starpointe, and we’re really excited to have yet another business provide employment opportunities to the citizens of Washington County. I’m hopeful WCCED will provide more information to the board of commissioners soon.”

Reitz, meanwhile, said, “I honestly don’t know the names of the entities that are renting the building, (Scannell Properties) has to prove to us they have leases before we’ll close. That’s all I can say.”

Reitz is looking for a closing by the end of September and groundbreaking in October.

Kevin See, Scannell vice president for project management, when reached by phone, said, “I’m on the same confidentiality agreement. When they’re ready to announce, I’m sure they will. I can’t tell you who it is.

“I’m not being evasive, that’s just the way it is.”

On its website, Scannell bills itself as a 25-year-old company that is “one of the country’s premier build-to-suit and project developers.”

In Pennsylvania, it has developed the 281,745-square-foot Guardian Life Insurance office building in the Lehigh Valley city of Bethlehem.

See said, “It was completed last year, and we own the facility.”

In addition to distribution/warehousing, transportation/logistics facilities, it also develops office, retail, educational, health care and government buildings, plus multi-family housing. It lists as one of its case studies a FedEx Ground distribution location in Alexandria, Va.

Reitz referred to Starpointe, along Route 22 with access to a Turnpike beltway leading to Pittsburgh International Airport, as “a strategic location with excellent highway access for this warehousing facility.”