Canadian building materials manufacturer planning to open in Hagerstown area

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A Canadian manufacturer of building materials plans to invest $70 million in the former RadioShack warehouse near Hagerstown.

Blair Materials, based in Ontario, Canada, plans to expand the building at 100 Tandy Drive by almost 65 percent to 554,000 square feet, according to an email from Linda Spence, a business specialist with the Washington County Department of Business Development.

Tandy Drive is off Western Maryland Parkway along the western edge of Hagerstown.

The company would use the building as its headquarters, as a warehouse and for a manufacturing facility. It makes rolled roofing materials and other building materials.

Officials with Blair Materials could not be reached for comment. The company is not Blair Building Materials Inc., which is also based in Canada, according to that company’s CEO Martin Lieberman.

Per conditions of a state loan, Blair Materials would have to employ at least 40 full-time employees by Dec. 31, 2020, according to an email from Maryland Department of Commerce spokeswoman Karen Glenn Hood. The company would have to retain those employees for the duration of the 10-year loan.

A $120,000 conditional loan was approved through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF) program, Hood wrote. The loan has a 3 percent interest rate.

Blair Materials must spend at least $70 million for project costs by December 2020 and maintain its manufacturing and warehouse operations at the site for the term of the loan, Hood wrote.

The county commissioners on Tuesday night approved a resolution to provide a $120,000 county conditional loan to the company and to endorse the state’s loan.

The county loan has essentially the same terms and conditions of the state loan, Business Development Director Susan Small wrote in an email.

While the loan has been approved on the state’s end, it could take several months to finish going through loan documents, Hood wrote. The loan is expected to close this year.

State labor department officials confirmed in February 2015 that RadioShack Corp. was closing its Hagerstown-area distribution facility and laying off 87 workers. The news came the same day the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

RS Hagers Owner LP bought the Tandy Drive building for $11.4 million from RadioShack in 2015, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation’s website. The property is 20.5 acres.

RS Hagers Owner is a foreign limited partnership, according to the Maryland Business Express website.

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