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Wayfair to bring 250 new jobs over 6 years with distribution center in Harford County

Wayfair, an online furniture and home goods company, announced Wednesday that it would establish a distribution center in Harford County, creating 250 jobs over the next six years.

Wayfair will establish an approximately 1.2 million square-foot distribution facility at MRP Industrial’s Eastgate Logistics Park in Aberdeen, according to an announcement from Gov. Larry Hogan’s office.

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Based in Boston and founded in 2002, Wayfair cracked the Fortune 500 for the first time in 2019, when it reported $9.127 billion in revenue. It employs more than 16,900 people throughout Europe and North America, according to 2019 fourth-quarter financial report, and generated $14 billion in net revenue last year.

“Harford County is delighted to have a Fortune 500 company join our thriving e-commerce hub in the Perryman Peninsula,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said. “Wayfair is a nationally recognized household brand name — we welcome their investment in the county and state, and the creation of 250 new jobs providing a critical logistics function for the consumer.”

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The project was hinted at in a mid-February meeting of the Harford County Council — then codenamed “Project Dane.” At the time, county spokesperson Cindy Mumby could not name the company because of a non-disclosure agreement signed to protect its negotiating power. Harford County was only one of the locations Wayfair was considering.

According the county’s Director of Community and Economic Development Len Parrish, who presented the project to the council, it would create 125 full-time jobs by Dec. 31, 2023, and 250 full-time jobs by the end of 2027. Parrish said the project would bring slightly more than $50 million in capital improvements to the county.

The company offers a minimum $15 per hour starting wage, Parrish added at the February meeting.

The Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a $750,000 conditional loan through Advantage Maryland, and Harford County approved a $75,000 workforce training grant to help grow the company’s workforce.

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As part of the incentive package, Harford County had to match the state’s grant at 10% and elected to do so through the training grants. The company is also eligible for tax credits, according to the governor’s office.

The $75,000 match represents Harford’s incentive package to get Wayfair to set up shop, Mumby said previously, and the reimbursement is contingent on the company meeting its employment targets over the years.

“By building this impressive facility in Harford County, Wayfair can easily reach one-third of the country’s population in just an overnight drive,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “Our state’s distribution and logistics sector is supported by not only the Port of Baltimore, but also five major interstates, and several railroads and regional airports, making Maryland’s location accessible and a major advantage for customers across the United States.”

The Perryman area around the site is home to numerous similar distribution centers, including those for Rite Aid, Sephora, Electrolux, Bob’s Discount Furniture and Clorox.

Known as Eastgate, the project is being developed by MRP Industrial, a Baltimore-based firm that specializes in such buildings in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. MRP’s plans call for three warehouses spanning a combined 2.3 million square feet on a narrow strip of land along Woodley Road abutting the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground.

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