Starbucks moving into huge E. Manchester Twp. warehouse
- Starbucks moving into 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse in East Manchester Township on 10-yr lease.
- Presentation to county commissioners suggests expansion expected to create 300 full-time jobs.
- Starbucks seeking county approval for tax exemption to prevent raising property taxes on warehouse.
A recently built warehouse totaling more than 1.2 million square feet in East Manchester Township will soon be occupied by Starbucks, according to a presentation at Wednesday morning's county commissioner's meeting.
Starbucks spokeswoman Linda Mills confirmed the company completed a 10-year lease to expand its distribution operations into the building at 1605 Bartlett Drive.
Mills said the new facility will allow the company to move its distribution operations out of the roasting plant, also in East Manchester Township, and support a long-term growth project in the area.
Starbucks first opened its York County roasting plant in 1995, and Mills said the community has been very supportive and offers a good base of potential employees.
Mills said Starbucks would have a more formal announcement next week to announce specifics on job creation and expansion.
LERTA: In her presentation to the commissioners, Kenetha Hansen, vice president of economic development for the York County Economic Alliance, said that the expansion is expected to create 300 full-time jobs during the next three to five years.
Starbucks is expected to invest $30 million as a result of the project, while Harrisburg-based Hillwood Development, which developed the warehouse under North York Development LLC, will invest $60 million, according to Hansen's presentation.
Hansen was joined by Gary Frederick, Hillwood's senior vice president of development, as the two discussed the potential for the county to grant Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) approval for the warehouse.
LERTA provides a property tax exemption schedule for up to 10 years with savings realized on a sliding scale beginning with 100 percent in year one and decreasing 10 percent annually. Hansen said that would directly benefit Starbucks as the tenant.
According to the YCEA website, "LERTA was established to allow local taxing authorities to exempt improvements to a business property if such property is located in a deteriorated area."
Frederick told commissioners that East Manchester Township and Northeastern School District have already granted LERTA approval for the project years ago on a speculative basis when the facility was being constructed.
Northeastern School Board President Margie Walker and East Manchester Township board chairman Steven H. Gross Jr. did not immediately return requests for comment.
Incentive: Hansen said the alliance's job is to educate the county, but LERTA is one of the few local incentive tools Pennsylvania counties have at their disposal.
Hansen added that she recalled that Starbucks search process before choosing to locate in York County was "extremely rigorous," and the company received incentives at the time, including a low-interest loan.
The commissioners are expected to vote on the LERTA next week, and President Commissioner Susan Byrnes said she still needs to do more research before forming an opinion.
When asked how granting LERTA would benefit the county given that Starbucks had already signed the lease, Byrnes said she did not know at this time.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly claimed LERTA prevents any increase in a building's property tax value for 10 years as opposed to the sliding scale.