March 07--A supplier for Harley-Davidson plans to occupy 400,000 square feet of the former Caterpillar manufacturing site in Springettsbury Township.
More than a month ago, Syncreon -- which employs more than 550 people in York County -- filed building permits necessary to outfit the old plant for light manufacturing and parts assembly, said John Holman, township manager.
"Syncreon provides parts as a supplier for Harley-Davidson, as I am aware," Holman said. "I believe they wanted to be closer to the Harley site in order to reduce the time required for delivery of material."
Syncreon is currently located at 515 Zarfoss Road in West Manchester Township.
Holman said the company is currently moving machinery into the new site, but plans to fully relocate in a couple months.
The York Business Center is located at 601 Memory Lane, just east of Harley-Davidson's operations at 1425 Eden Road off Route 30.
It was once the home of a Caterpillar manufacturing plant that closed in 1998.
In September 2002, York Butterfly Limited Partnership bought the four former Caterpillar buildings -- equal to the area of 31 football fields -- for $8.9 million from St. Louis-based Commercial Development.
Philadelphia-based Brasler Realty and Financial Services and Boston-based New Boston Fund were the principal partners in York Butterfly.
In 2002, R.R. Donnelley was the first company that agreed to lease space in the new center.
In 2008, the facility's current owner -- Needham, Mass.-based Equity Industrial Partners -- signed a deal to buy the more-than-100-acre complex, including 20 acres of underdeveloped commercial land at the east and west ends of the property.
Sara Biery, marketing communications specialist for Syncreon, declined to comment on the move.
"We do not discuss operations for our customers," she said, directing all calls to Harley-Davidson.
Bernadette Lauer, spokeswoman for Harley-Davidson's York County operations, said the motorcycle manufacturer has a policy of not discussing relationships with suppliers.
According to its website, Syncreon is a "specialized provider of integrated logistics services to global industries."
The website lists a portfolio of customers in the automobile industry, including Chrysler, Rolls-Royce, BMW and Audi.
"This certainly is good news," Holman said. "All those jobs will stay in the county and in the local area. We're thrilled to have them in Springettsbury Township."
York Business Center timeline
March 19, 1996: Caterpillar, which came to York in 1953, announces plans to the closure of its local manufacturing operations.
1998: The company closes its Springettsbury Township plant, affecting 400 salaried workers and 600 hourly employees.
December 1999: Springettsbury Township approves a flexible-development district that stretches between North Hills Road and Mt. Zion Road, north of East Market Street. The 300-acre zone, which includes Caterpillar's manufacturing plant, allows for a mix of industrial, commercial, institutional, residential and agricultural uses on one property. Township and York County officials said the zone will help Caterpillar find a buyer for its vacant plant.
Dec. 28, 2000: Commercial Development buys the manufacturing and parts plants. The parts plant is leased back to Caterpillar and jobs are not affected.
Jan. 31, 2001: The New York Wire Co. in Mount Wolf negotiates with Commercial Development to lease roughly 30,000 square feet within one of the vacant manufacturing plants.
August 2001: The name of the vacant manufacturing plant site name is changed to York Business Center.
October 2001: The site becomes a U.S. Department of Customs Foreign-Trade Zone.
2002: Philadelphia-based Brasler Realty and Financial Services and Boston-based New Boston Fund -- together York Butterfly -- announce plans to buy the York Business Center. R.R. Donnelley signs on as the first tenant.
2008: Needham, Mass.-based Equity Industrial Partners sign a deal to buy the more-than-100-acre complex, including 20 acres of underdeveloped commercial land at the east and west ends of the property.
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