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Leeds makes plans to expand in Westmoreland County industrial park

| Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, 12:51 a.m.

A Westmoreland County manufacturer plans to expand to a new site in an industrial park.

Leeds last week agreed with the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp. on a six-month option, with the purpose of purchasing lot 53 in Westmoreland Business & Research Park, according to Joe Sisley, the marketing director for the WCIDC.

“It's our form of a sales agreement,” Sisley said. “They put option money down to hold the property for six months. They do their due diligence and have six months to close on the property.”

Leeds manufactures promotional and gift items for companies and people.

Sisley said the land the company is expected to buy is about 22.5 acres. The county agreed to sell the plot for $1.35 million, Sisley said.

“They are truly a Westmoreland County success story,” Sisley said. “Sometimes, people think economic development means attracting new companies. It's just as important to keep what you have here.

“They started in Murrysville and then moved into the business park,” he said. “They have 900 employees. They've expanded more than any business in our parks.”

In a news release from the WCIDC, Leeds' Chief Financial Officer, David Farr, said the company will construct a building in multiple phases.

The company will use about 20 percent of the first phase for “decoration operations” and the rest for warehouse space, Farr said.

Leeds moved to the business park, which straddles the Upper Burrell-Washington Township border, in the late 1990s when it needed room to expand.

The company operates on six plots in the business park. The expansion will give it more than 800,000 square feet of operating space. Leeds is buying the last site in the business park on which someone can readily build.

R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media

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