Work Commences on 1.1M SF Arm & Hammer Plant in Pennsylvania

A 232-acre parcel of land in Jackson Township, Pa., will soon become home to household and special products manufacturer Church & Dwight Co.’s new Arm & Hammer integrated laundry detergent manufacturing plant and distribution center, now that ground has broken at the York County site. The new 1.1 million-square-foot facility (pictured), to be located about 25 miles southwest of Scranton and 100 miles north of Philadelphia, will allow Church & Dwight to bring all five of its Central New Jersey operations under one green roof. The price tag on the entire project, from land acquisition to build-out, is $170 million. Church & Dwight relied on commercial real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Inc. to spearhead the company’s search for the right location, a search that included the consideration of 25 to 30 sites in five states. The competition was narrowed down to two options and ultimately, the south central Pennsylvania location in the Commerce Park industrial campus triumphed over a location in West Virginia. “The top priority was to accommodate the size of the facility Church & Dwight wanted, and then we had to determine how fast we could get approvals, what the labor pool was like and what incentives were available,” Joe McDermott, senior vice president with CBRE, told CPN. Church & Dwight was heavily courted by both local and state officials in Pennsylvania who were eager to bring to the region the approximately 300 jobs the new development will create. “Governor Edward Rendell got very involved in on- and off-site improvements that had to be made,” McDermott said. “The state was very instrumental in providing financing through grants and loans.” First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. is developing the Church & Dwight project in what is described as a build-to-suit-sale; First Industrial originally acquired the land from Stewart Associates and then sold it to Church & Dwight. The Norwood Co. has been tapped to serve as general contractor for the endeavor, and CBRE will stay onboard to serve as project manager. When all is said and done, Church & Dwight will have a behemoth facility with the capacity to expand to 1.9 million square feet in an area that is well-served by major thoroughfares, including I-83 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, as well as substantial rail service with ties to the Norfolk Southern, CSX and Canadian Pacific lines. One of the most noted features of the development is its green design. The LEED-certified building will incorporate elements that will result in a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption and a 50 percent decrease in solid waste and industrial effluent from manufacturing processes. The structure will encompass features ranging from efficient lighting and solar power to a 25-acre roof with the capacity to collect rainwater that can potentially be used for manufacturing purposes. “This will be a state-of-the art building with all new equipment,” McDermott said. “It will be very efficient; Church & Dwight is a green company.” Church & Dwight expects to begin churning out Arm & Hammer products by the close of 2009, at which point it will vacate its five facilities in New Brunswick, N.J. Totaling 1.3 million square feet, the space is being marketed for sublease by CBRE for the balance of the individual lease terms.