Ground bro­ken on Ch­ester­town busi­ness cam­pus

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By DO­RIAN MITCHELL dmitchell@thekent­coun­tynews.com

An­other part of phase one will be build­ing an apart­ment com­plex, which is ex­pected to have about 175 units.

“When peo­ple come to work for us, es­pe­cially younger engi­neers ... they can’t seem to find a place to live,” Goodall said. “So we wanted to get into the apart­ment busi­ness, to keep those here that we at­tract.”

KRM is build­ing the apart­ment com­plex and will ini­tially own it, but the com­pany will not man­age the property..

Other com­po­nents of the project in­clude a pos­si­ble new head­quar­ters for Dixon and “spec­u­la­tive space,” which would be leased to other busi­nesses to use.

“There is so much space here. We have a lot of land to do the right things the right way,” Goodall said. “If we put up build­ings and we’re in­volved, we want ev­ery­thing to be the best.”

— Amid cheers and ap­plause, golden shov­els of­fi­cially broke ground on the Ch­ester­town busi­ness cam­pus project dur­ing a cer­e­mony Tues­day at the project site.

Held at 298 Scheeler Road, the cer­e­mony was led by Dixon Valve & Cou­pling Co. CEO Dick Goodall and his daugh­ter Kate Gray, pres­i­dent of KRM De­vel­op­ment Corp.

“This isn’t just Dixon’s vi­sion. It’s a vi­sion for Kent County and Ch­ester­town,” Goodall said.

Goodall said the cam­pus will sit on 80 acres of land an­nexed by the Town of Ch­ester­town last year and owned by the com­pany. The main com­po­nent of the project’s first phase is to build a new dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter for Dixon, which cur­rently is lo­cated at 800 High St.

He said the 150,000 square-foot-cen­ter will be fully au­to­mated.

Goodall thanked those in­volved with the project for their sup­port; par­tic­u­larly dif­fer­ent state agen­cies, the Town of Ch­ester­town and the Kent County Com­mis­sion­ers.

“We are so lucky to live in a county and in a town that are co­op­er­at­ing to­gether on this,” Goodall said.

He also said he was grate­ful to the com­pa­nies’ staff for their ded­i­ca­tion and hard work. He said to­day, Dixon has about 340 em­ploy­ees work­ing in Ch­ester­town.

“There’d be no need to build this great big build­ing ... if we didn’t have the busi­ness to fill it with prod­uct,” Goodall said. “It’s all these lo­cal folks that make us who we are to­day. None of this would have been pos­si­ble with­out the peo­ple we work with and the vi­sions they bring.”

Site work on the dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter is ex­pected to be­gin in sev­eral weeks, with con­struc­tion on the apart­ment com­plex to fol­low later this fall. Dixon is slated to move into the cen­ter in about 18 months.

The es­ti­mated over­all cost of the Ch­ester­town busi­ness cam­pus will be about $80 mil­lion, paid for over the course of 10 to 15 years. Phase one — the dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter and apart­ment com­plex — is ex­pected to cost about $35 mil­lion.

PHOTO BY DO­RIAN MITCHELL Lo­cal and state of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees of KRM De­vel­op­ment Corp. and Dixon Valve & Cou­pling Co. use golden shov­els to break ground on the Ch­ester­town busi­ness cam­pus project Tues­day, at 298 Scheeler Road. From left are Tay­lor Goodall of Dixon, Dixon Pres­i­dent Bob Grace, J.C. Canali­chio of Dixon, Mary­land Depart­ment of Com­merce Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Steven Pen­ning­ton, state Sen. Steve Hershey, Dixon CEO Dick Goodall, KRM Pres­i­dent Kate Gray, Dixon Vice Pres­i­dent of Hu­man Re­sources Mary Price ,Jo­han Trumpy of Dixon and Ch­ester­town Town Man­ager Bill Inger­soll.

PHOTO BY DO­RIAN MITCHELL Dixon Valve & Cou­pling Co. CEO Dick Goodall speaks about the vi­sion for the Ch­ester­town busi­ness cam­pus while his daugh­ter Kate Gray, pres­i­dent of KRM De­vel­op­ment Corp., holds a ren­der­ing of the cam­pus’ lay­out dur­ing a ground­break­ing cer­e­mony Tues­day.

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