Wendell to build for shale business
A concrete company in Greensburg is capitalizing on the Marcellus shale boom and wants to improve Westmoreland County's economy by adding 200 jobs.
Wendell H. Stone Co. has purchased nearly 28 acres in the I-70 Industrial Park in South Huntingdon to construct and market buildings to businesses in the natural gas industry.
The company last month paid $552,000 to buy the property at the park operated by the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp., which is the home for distribution centers for Dick's Sporting Goods and Levin Furniture.
Shalestone Group, a subsidiary of Wendell H. Stone, will develop the site and erect about nine buildings.
“We're catering to the natural gas industry because the type of building they need, you don't see many around here,” Von Fisher, director of development for the Shalestone Group, said Wednesday.
Fisher estimated that as many as 200 permanent jobs will be created when the shell buildings are occupied.
“More trucking, more warehousing, more supply materials and drilling equipment — all mean more jobs for Westmoreland County,” Commissioner Chuck Anderson said in a statement.
Plans call for the company to erect buildings between 10,000 and 21,000 square feet, complete with “lay-down yards” to stack equipment and supplies.
The buildings will be leased or sold to private companies flocking to Westmoreland, where 191 wells have been drilled, according to the most recent figures from the county. More than two dozen are in South Huntingdon.
Shalestone is completing a similar construction project near Canonsburg, Washington County, the hub of Marcellus growth in the region.
Shalestone purchased about a third of the available acreage in the South Huntingdon park, but could buy more, depending on the success of its project. About 52 acres are still available.
“We're designing our site to develop additional acres if it is warranted,” Fisher said.
County Planning Director Jason Rigone said the county is marketing itself to companies associated with Marcellus shale drilling and other enterprises related to the natural gas industry.
County officials said more than 15 such companies have relocated to Westmoreland. “There is a good opportunity that additional companies can locate here,” Rigone said.
Anderson said, “We're trying to expand and basically put a welcome sign out that Westmoreland County is open for business.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.