Medline Looks to Start Construction Soon on $120M Project

John Jordan | March 2020

MONTGOMERY—One of the more controversial commercial projects in Orange County secured a key approval on March 8 that will likely facilitate groundbreaking on the $120-million distribution facility later this spring if building restrictions related to the Coronavirus are lifted.

The Montgomery Planning Board approved Medline Industries’ Final Environmental Impact Statement on its proposed 1.3-million-square-foot distribution facility. The Planning Board must now approve a findings statement for the project. Medline then must secure site plan approval before construction can commence.

If those approvals are obtained, a total of more than 2.3 million square feet of industrial warehouse space involving two projects will be under construction in Orange County, valued at more than $200 million.

Last month, Bluewater Property Group was granted approvals for incentives with the Montgomery Industrial Development Agency for its plan to build a 1,015,740-square-foot fulfillment center for Amazon that has been estimated to cost approximately $85 million to build.

Construction has already begun on the Amazon fulfillment center project.

Medline, a global healthcare products firm headquartered in Northfield, IL, is looking to move operations from Wawayanda where it has outgrown its 500,000-square-foot facility there. Medline has sold the Wawayanda site to Morgan Stanley.

Medline spokesman Jesse Greenberg said that Medline has committed to grow its workforce from 340 to 700 employees in five years.

“We are obviously very excited to have received our approval of our Final Environmental Impact Statement,” Greenberg said. “We have been working with the town for quite a long time in taking a lot of stakeholder input during that period and working with the community to make the project something that would benefit Medline and the community the best.”

He said Medline would be submitting to the town an acceptance letter of the FEIS with a final findings statement expected to be issued in early April. A meeting is scheduled on March 30 with the Planning Board in connection with the project.

The company had filed an application for incentives with the Montgomery Industrial Development Agency. Some Montgomery residents, as well as State Sen. James Skoufis criticized the award of any incentives for the Medline project.

At a hearing in August of 2019, Sen. Skoufis testified that the Planning Board should “make it clear to these folks that they need to get their hands out of the pockets of Montgomery residents. Our message should be loud and simple: ‘pay your damn taxes.’”

Some local officials were wary that Medline might abandon the project, but the firm subsequently withdrew its application with the Montgomery IDA. However, Medline expects to receive approximately $15 million in tax exemptions under New York State’s 485B program.

Maureen Halahan, president and chief executive officer of the Orange County Partnership, praised Medline for “spending so much and being so patient through the approval process system in an effort to save their workforce and add new jobs to the community they love.”

She singled out the company’s ongoing commitment to Orange County, particularly during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. She noted that Medline “has stepped up and helped Orange County officials with ensuring that we have the supplies the county needs to protect our community.”

Halahan added, “This is a stellar company and it’s a privilege to have them here in Orange County.”

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth