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May 30, 2002

USA: Ahold’s Giant Food faces opposition over plans to build warehouse in Maryland

A US$2m incentive package for Giant Food Inc, a subsidiary of Dutch retailer Ahold, to build an enormous warehouse in Jessup, Maryland, has come up against stiff oppositions from legislators. Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Prince George’s) referred to the incentives as “corporate bribery”. Miller anticipated that state analysts, who have investigated the proposal, will be reluctant to recommend it to the Legislative Policy Committee, which is due to vote on it next week after a public hearing.

A US$2m incentive package for Giant Food Inc, a subsidiary of Dutch retailer Ahold, to build an enormous warehouse in Jessup, Maryland, has come up against stiff oppositions from legislators.

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Prince George’s) referred to the incentives as “corporate bribery”. Miller anticipated that state analysts, who have investigated the proposal, will be reluctant to recommend it to the Legislative Policy Committee, which is due to vote on it next week after a public hearing.

Millers’s objection lies in his belief that the new warehouse will not bring a net gain in jobs, and will simply transfer assets from one county in Maryland to another.

State officials said last week that the incentives offered to the grocery store chain include a US$1.25m grant from the state’s Sunny Day Fund, which was created to help companies expand or relocate in Maryland, as well as US$500,000 in training grants and tax credits.

Meanwhile, Giant hopes to start construction on the 386,000ft² building this summer.

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