Aberdeen council approves plans to build warehouse on Manekin/Pomeroy property

A 500,000 square-foot warehouse is proposed for more than 37 acres along Old Philadelphia Road in Aberdeen, land formerly owned by the Pomeroy family.

Aberdeen’s mayor and City Council granted unanimous approval Monday to a preliminary subdivision plan, which would combine several parcels into a 37.79-acre site at the intersection of Old Philadelphia Road and Route 715 across from the Walmart Supercenter on Old Philadelphia.

The mayor and council also approved a preliminary site plan Monday, which lays out how the land, which is sandwiched between Old Philadelphia Road and the Amtrak railroad tracks, will be developed with the warehouse building, parking areas and stormwater management facilities.

Manekin Investment Services LLC, of Columbia, is the developer.

The developers want to combine three parcels before the warehouse is built. One 32.34-acre parcel, at 727 Old Philadelphia Road, is owned by 727 Old Philadelphia Road LLC. The second parcel, which is 4.92 acres, is at 811 Old Philadelphia Road and is owned by 811 Old Philadelphia Road LLC, according to the subdivision plan.

The final half acre is along Old Philadelphia Road and is owned by the State Highway Administration.

That strip is part of a .66-acre parcel the Pomeroy family sold to the SHA in 2007 for improvements to the Route 715/Route 40 interchange. Route 715 leads to the Aberdeen Proving Ground visitors’ gate. The property must be acquired to ensure access to the property from Old Philadelphia Road, Gerry Powell, a project manager with Frederick Ward Associates of Bel Air, told city leaders.

“We have to actually acquire it or cross it to get to the city road,” Powell said.

He said the developers have been in contact with SHA representatives who have “given us a timetable and schedule that they’re willing to meet to take us through the process.”

Mayor Patrick McGrady said the city has spent the past two years trying to acquire property from the SHA, an issue separate from the Pomeroy development.

Powell said the developer’s situation is slightly different since the land is along a city-maintained road.

“We feel it’s in our favor that we’re going to proceed in that manner and hopefully be successful,” he said.

Powell said no tenants or uses have been selected for the warehouse yet.

“Due to the speculative nature of the project, we are laying out the site as a standard industrial site,” he said.

Plans call for two entrances from Old Philadelphia Road, and the building will be set up so up to two tenants can occupy it, according to Powell.

He said 57 percent of the site will have impervious surface, such as the building and a parking area with 243 spaces, and the rest will have open space and stormwater management facilities.

There will be 151 spaces for trailer storage and 130 loading docks for “regular deliveries and shipments,” Powell said.

The site will be connected to the municipal water and sewer system. A water main from the Pomeroy property to the water lines serving Walmart and properties along nearby Newton Road is proposed.

Powell said the new connection will increase “both the capacity and the redundancy of the city water system in this zone.”

The property is zoned for M-1 light industrial use, plus it is in a downtown revitalization overlay district, according to Powell.

He said developers met with the city’s Architectural Review Commission last month.

“We were given some things to make sure we were addressing, regarding the project, that mostly pertained to the visual appeal of the project from Old Philadelphia Road,” Powell said. “This is a main thoroughfare to the Aberdeen community.”

City Council members did not have any questions or comments. McGrady asked Powell about potential uses for the warehouse.

The mayor suggested “this is a property that, theoretically, could be fitted out like the Clorox warehouse” in Aberdeen and similar regional distribution facilities in and around Aberdeen, most of which he said are fully leased.

Powell said the new building could be used as a distribution center,

“We think this [has] potential, on spec, to be a good project for the Manekin Corporation,” the mayor said.

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