AUSTINTOWN, OH-Minnetonka, MN-based Snyders Drug Stores has signed a 10-year lease on the 700,000-sf Tamco Distribution Center in Austintown, OH, near Youngstown, formerly operated by Phar-Mor. The facility was vacated in July when Youngstown-based Phar-Mor discount drug chain went bust.

Pittsburgh, PA-based Giant Eagle assumed the Tamco facility as a part of assets it purchased following a court-ordered liquidation of Phar-Mor’s assets. Dan Shapira, the grocery company’s special counsel, negotiated the transaction. The lease runs through 2012 with options to extend beyond that date.

The rental rate is undisclosed, but Terry Kushner, Giant Eagle spokesman, tells, “we provided a range of incentives including a rental price that was lower than that paid by Phar-Mor. The value of the incentive package from Giant Eagle alone was $1.5 million,” Kushner says.

Add to that a 10-year, 60% tax abatement on $8 million in inventory, provided by Austintown, a $100,000 grant from the State of Ohio, and $75,000 in state training funds. According to published reports, Snyders also negotiated a beneficial agreement with Teamsters Local 377, which represents 250 former Phar-Mor employees who worked at the facility.

Snyders expects to have the center in operation with at least 150 of those employees by year-end. Snyders operates 84 Snyders Drug Stores and 78 Drug Emporiums and is looking to expand. Giant Eagle, one of the nation’s largest food retailers and distributors, ranks among Forbes magazine’s top 30 privately held companies. Its 2001 sales were in excess of $4.4 billion.

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