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Try-It to expand warehouse; Lancaster beverage distributor plans to add 100,000 square feet to Walden Avenue facility to keep pace with growing business

Try-It Distributing plans to double the size of its Lancaster warehouse to keep pace with its growth.

"We probably should have started this expansion two to three years ago because we've really run out of room," said Paul Vukelic, president and chief operating officer of the beverage distributor.

The project, which will add about 100,000 square feet, is estimated at $15 million.

The company hopes to start construction in May and complete the work next February, joining a list of business projects planned or under way in Lancaster.

During peak periods such as summer, the company needs to supplement its Walden Avenue facility with off-site warehouse space, Vukelic said.

Nearly all of the expansion will be used for warehouse purposes, with a small portion devoted to office space. Most of the new space will be refrigerated.

Try-It employs about 280 people at the warehouse. The company has steadily added jobs in recent years and expects its work force to keep growing following the expansion, Vukelic said.

Try-It distributes a variety of beer brands, including Budweiser and Labatt products, as well as such non-alcoholic products as Red Bull and Arizona Tea, through its Balkan Beverage subsidiary.

The company is looking at expanding its business, by selling into some new areas as well as bolstering sales in markets it already serves, Vukelic said.

Robert Giza, the Lancaster supervisor and chairman of the Lancaster Industrial Development Agency, called Try-It "one of our star companies," saying the company takes care with the appearance of its property.

Giza said he didn't expect Try-It to face any significant hurdles to getting its expansion plan approved. He noted the company already owns the land for the project.

Some other business projects also are taking root in Lancaster.

Scott Enterprises of Erie, Pa., plans to build a Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel on Transit Road near the Thruway.

PCB Piezotronics has bought a neighboring building and is moving some of its operations there. Buffalo Filter, a medical device manufacturer now in Amherst, is building new corporate offices on Genesee Street. And Joe Basil Chevrolet plans to make an addition to its dealership.

Giza said the town tries to be responsive to companies' growth plans, especially with the region's relatively short construction season. "We realize if they're going to invest millions of dollars, we have to move quickly or the investment will be lost."

e-mail: mglynn@buffnews.com