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LANCASTER, PA-Gap-based Auntie Annie’s Inc. has opted to keep its headquarters in Lancaster County and will relocate to the 70,000-sf former post office building on W. Chestnut Street. It will also add a warehouse and production facility in the county.

The all-in cost for the new headquarters is estimated at $7 million, which includes acquisition of the building and renovation. An Auntie Annie’s spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com the building is largely vacant, but the US Postal Service will continue to operate an 8,000-sf branch in the building under a long-term lease to the soft-pretzel franchisor. Citing a confidentiality agreement, she declined to disclose the identity of the building’s seller, which is not the US Postal Service, she says.

“We are currently doing due diligence, and expect to take occupancy in late summer 2007,” she says. The site for the planned warehouse and production facility has not yet been determined, “but will be in the vicinity of Lancaster City. It will be 60,000 sf, but management hasn’t yet determined whether it will be new construction or an acquired property.”

The county Economic Development Co. and the Governor’s Action Team are providing an incentive package of approximately $3.3 million for the moves. It includes up to $2 million in loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, up to $1 million from the state’s machinery and equipment loan fund, a $150,000 Opportunity grant, $32,400 in job training funds, and $144,000 in job creation tax credits.

Auntie Annie’s will retain 108 full-time employees and create up to 72 new jobs in the county within three years. The franchisor operates from more than 900, primarily franchised units worldwide. The spokeswoman says it is in the process of rebranding its domestic units with a new look.

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