MERCERSBURG, Penn. – Hardwood lumber producer Pennsylvania Cherry LLC will invest $15 million to open a new mill in Mercersburg Borough, Pennsylvania. More than 40 new jobs will be created in the next three years at the kiln-dried cherry operation.
“We are very excited with the establishment of Pennsylvania Cherry, LLC and look forward to continuing the excellent relationship we have developed with the state of Pennsylvania and Mercersburg Borough in this new venture,” said Hong Hong Chen, CEO of Pennsylvania Cherry. “The choice of Pennsylvania and, specifically, Mercersburg as the location for this new facility was based on the natural resources in this area that are critical to our success as well as the availability of multiple transportation options.”
The $15 million project includes land and building acquisition, infrastructure development, machinery and equipment purchase, and job training. Pennsylvania Cherry also will receive $126,000 in job creation tax credits from the Department of Community and Economic Development and a $16,650 grant from the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania. A $2.1 million low-interest loan may be available from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority to assist with building and equipment costs.
“Pennsylvania’s excellent location, abundance of natural resources, and prime business climate made the commonwealth the perfect site to establish Pennsylvania Cherry, and we’re excited to welcome the company here,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “The company’s decision to establish roots here is more evidence that our state is the best choice for manufacturers who are looking at several locations to set up shop.”
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, in collaboration with the Franklin County Area Development Corporation (FCADC). L. Michael Ross, president of FCADC, said the project "will redevelop a property that has sat vacant for the last two years.”
According to the Central Penn Business Journal, Pennsylvania Cherry's parent firm Missouri Walnut LLC purchased the 52-acre property, which includes a 257,000-square-foot building, last month for an undisclosed sum.
Missouri Walnut USA is located in Neosho, Missouri. The parent firm, Missouri Walnut China, is based in Shanghai.