Work begins for Goodman Birtcher’s Carlisle-area logistics center

First came the plans, then the politics. Now it’s shovel time.

Dozens of dignitaries gathered Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a 2-million-square-foot warehouse project that straddles three Cumberland County municipalities.

The massive Goodman Birtcher logistics center, located off Allen Road, covers parts of Dickinson Township, the Borough of Carlisle and South Middleton Township. The facility ultimately will create 900 jobs, 80 percent of which will be permanent, company officials have said.

A Goodman Birtcher promotional flier for the site gives the second quarter of 2016 as an availability date for space at the complex. 

So far, however, officials are keeping a low profile when it comes to speaking about the actual start of work and next steps in the project. 

Brian Knowles, a principal with Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania LLC, which is marketing the site, referred questions about the project to Goodman Birtcher.

Troy Briggs, regional director of development and investments (East Coast) at Goodman Birtcher, confirmed that the groundbreaking took place, but otherwise declined comment, saying only that a further statement would be “forthcoming.”

Perhaps that owes to the passionate response Goodman Birtcher’s plans have previously aroused in the community,  including concerns about the plan’s scope and impact, and whether all those jobs would be permanent. Briggs discussed some of those issues in a previous interview.

The road to groundbreaking also had to pass through local planning approvals – including in Dickinson Township, where officials agreed to rezone 86 acres in their business recreation district along Allen Road to business industrial.

What happens next? Obviously a lot of digging and heavy lifting on a very large parcel of land.

According to the Goodman Birtcher flier, the 125-acre complex will consist of two buildings, one containing just over 1 million square feet of space and the other just shy of that amount. There will be parking for 225 cars and 364 trailers, with a combined 194 dock doors.

Dickinson Township Manager Mike Masley said the developer has been providing local officials with a rolling two-week agenda of their work plans. The agenda Masley received for the week of Sept. 21-25 included:

• Clearing and grubbing work for sediment basins on site.

• Meeting with PennDOT to discuss blasting operations along Allen Road.

• Coordinating and filing for permits associated with houses to be demolished in Dickinson and Carlisle.

The schedule also called for workers to mobilize and install tents and trailer restrooms for the groundbreaking.

How did that turn out?

“There were 70-plus people, under a big tent,” Knowles said. “It was just a great event.”

Roger DuPuis
Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com.

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