ShareThis Page

Express Scripts moving from North Versailles to North Huntingdon

| Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 12:55 p.m.

A national pharmaceutical supply company will move from a facility in North Versailles Township to new location in North Huntingdon Township.

Express Scripts Company spokesman Brian Henry said the firm announced to local employees Monday it will move its center near the intersection of Route 30 and 48 to a yet-to-be-built facility in North Huntingdon.

Henry said staffing levels will not be affected.

The facility employs about 700 people, according to North Versailles.

North Huntingdon recently granted a five-year tax break to Lincoln Hills Commercial for construction of the new facility on a parcel of land just west of the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange.

Henry said the Express Script's existing site was in need of investment and the company believes the new location will lead to improved productivity and allow for growth.

North Huntingdon commissioner Rich Gray said the township is thrilled the mail order pharmacy company decided to locate there. He thinks the lower tax rate in Westmoreland County and North Huntingdon's proximity to the existing center just across the border in Allegheny County made the township an attractive option for the company.

North Versailles code enforcement officer Allen Wagner said township officials reached out numerous times to Express Scripts with competitive offers designed to beat any of the deals North Huntingdon was offering but never got the chance to present them.

“They wouldn't even talk to us,” said Wagner. “They wouldn't talk to us and I'm not sure why.”

In addition to tax breaks, Wagner said the township had a $250,000 grant from the Allegheny County Infrastructure Tourism Fund and another grant of equal amount from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program that could have been used to pay for initial site development costs.

North Versailles had a list of potential building sites for a new Express Scripts building that included the Naser site located near the current facility, the former Loews theater site, Eastland, and the Sullivan property along Route 30.

Wagner said the situation reminds him of one in New Jersey recently in the news where Express Scripts left one community for another nearby in pursuit of tax breaks.

According to a news report in The Inquirer earlier this month, the company plans to move from Willingboro to Florence, N.J., for a property tax break. According to the report, Willingboro Mayor Eddie Campbell Jr. said the move will leave the town with a “big, empty building.”

Concerns the company might leave North Huntingdon after the tax abatement period ends, Gray said, “That's always a possibility,” but added, “We'll have a property down there that will still be taxable. We will still benefit from the development.”

Gray said North Huntingdon officials will try to expedite passage of a site plan so developers can meet a targeted June start date for construction.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.