Cumberland Times-News


June 19, 2008

Md. approves sale of Biederlack buildings

CUMBERLAND - Gov. Martin O'Malley says the state has approved a $2.5 million investment in the Riverside Industrial Park on Kelly Road.

The Department of Business and Economic Development, through its One Maryland Program, will give Allegany County the money to buy three buildings from struggling blanket manufacturer Biederlack of America. DBED Secretary David Edgerley gave verbal approval for the transaction last month.

O'Malley said the county will lease about 125,000 square feet of the 338,000 square feet back to Biederlack. The county will prepare the rest of the space for occupation by prospective tenants. That remaining space will be converted into flex, industrial and warehouse space suitable for new businesses, said Matt Diaz, county director of economic development.

Biederlack has cut its work force from more than 300 to less than 60 since 2005 after losing a number of major contracts, including one from Wal-Mart and another from Sam's Wholesale. The company is a unit of Herman Biederlack of Greven, Germany.

Peter McCabe, president of Biederlack, said in March that global competition and a weakening economy forced the company to lay off dozens of workers.

Diaz said Allegany County is responsible for paying that money back in the future. Only if the "worse-case scenario" came true and the buildings were not leased would the county not be required to pay back the full amount.

O'Malley said in a news release that the One Maryland Tax Credit will help the county "become more competitive in attracting and retaining a broader variety of companies."

The program provides up to $5.5 million in income tax credits. To qualify, businesses must invest in a "qualified distressed county" to be eligible for up to $5 million and project tax credits and start-up tax credits of up to $500,000.

The buildings and site were formerly part of the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. manufacturing facility, which ceased operation in 1987. Ownership of the property was transferred to the county 10 years later.

Text Only
Latest news
Must Read
House Ads