Atapco at work on business park

PAT FRIDGEN

Antrim Commons Business Park is actively in development, though motorists along U.S. 11 may not be able to see it from the road.

Atapco vice president of development Patrick Coggins told guests of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce breakfast yesterday that $2 million worth of road construction was underway, with Commerce Drive likely to be paved yet in 2010. Another road from the Norfolk Southern rail terminal to U.S. 11, called Antrim Commons Drive, would be constructed next spring. Coggins expected utilities to be in by the fall of 2012, at which point sites would be ready for tenants.

The exit 3 interchange had received PennDOT permission for a traffic study and approval of ramp alignments, he said. The southbound exit ramp will allow trucks to directly access Antrim Commons Drive, to be controlled by a traffic signal. The northbound ramp to U.S. 11, also monitored with a light, will gain another lane to prevent traffic backup, and square with access to Comfort Inn.

“We’re in the right place at the right time,” Coggins told the assembly of 65. “A year ago there was nothing going on along the I-81 corridor. Now there are four or five deals sniffing around.”

Atapco’s competition was sites in Hagerstown, Md. and Shippensburg, he added, but he was optimistic he would land big projects.

The real estate development corporation has already submitted a speculation land development plan to Antrim Township. It shows a one-million square foot building. Atapco will not construct the building until a company commits, Coggins said after the meeting, but the company might start the site work.

“We want to be able to give the client a delivery date,” he said.

Atapco will lease or sell lots as negotiated.

“We are flexible with deal structures,” he said. “Our goal is to increase our holdings.”

He told the chamber members that Atapco was in a good position compared to many other developers. It carried no debt and was therefore financially strong, having avoided real estate fiascos prior to and during the recession.

Atapco fast facts

Atapco is an acronym for American Trading and Production Corporation.

The Baltimore-based holding company is part of a 100-year-old family business.

The founder, Louis Blaustein, also started Amoco, created the first drive-through filling station, and invented the metered gas pump.

In 1998 BP Oil acquired Amoco, the world’s largest industrial merger.

The Atapco Properties subsidiary is just 10-years-old, with a staff of 10,  holdings of $250 million, and 450 acres available for development.