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Letters to the Editor: A road trip to the worlds largest office building.

How big will the Wegmans warehouse be? - Anonymous According to this document, Wegmans is proposing to develop 1,496,850 square feet of warehousing and distribution space off Sliding Hill in Hanover County. Most of us have trouble visualizing a number that large, so lets take a little tour of the country and visit some notable buildings to gain some perspective. Let's start out right across the street from the proposed site in the Fox Head neighborhood. A typical house in that neighborhood might have about 2,000 sq feet of floor space, so lets use that as the basis for our comparison. The Wegmans distribution center will have 750 times the square footage of our example house!

That doesn't really help with perspective, let's so fill up the Semi Truck and set out to find a better comparison. First stop? The local football field. That's a familiar, large space and it will hopefully give us a better idea of the scale for this project. From the front of the endzone to the front of the other endzone, the 100 yard field is 48,000 square feet. When we do the math, that space would fit inside the distribution center more than 31 times!

We are getting closer, but 31 football fields is still pretty hard to imagine. I know of a building we can try. Let's punch "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" into our GPS (but remember to adjust our GPS settings to avoid side roads) and take a look at the most famous house in the country, The White House. The White House has an astounding 55,000 square feet of floor space. It still isn't enough though, because we can fit 27 White Houses inside the proposed space.

Why don't we rumble Northbound on the highway (if we can ever get past all this traffic) toward "The Flower City" to visit our friends in Rochester, NY. According to their website, Wegmans built its corporate headquarters in 1992 and it contains 105,000 square feet of office space. To run such a big company, you need to have a large office building, and Wegmans does, but you would still be able to fit more than 14 corporate headquarters buildings inside the distribution center!

We've seen a normal house and we've seen a famous house. Now let's go see a LARGE house. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC was built for George Washington Vanderbilt II and has 135,280 square feet of living area, making it the largest privately owned house in these United States. Wegmans floor space will still be more than 11 times the living space of the largest home in America!

This is getting a little depressing. Why don't we take advantage of this virtual road trip and get out of the Wegmans geographical footprint. Let's head west to California, but stick with me for one more house themed visit. Normal House - Check White House - Check

Large House - Check "Big House" - wait... isn't that the same thing as a large house? Nope. We are going to THE big house.

That's right, Alcatraz Prison! Alcatraz operated from 1934 to 1963. The prison housed 1,576 inmates, including infamous criminals like Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly, during its three decades of service. The prison isn't actually large enough to compare, so instead of measuring the prison size, why don't we look at the island? The entire island that Alcatraz Prison sits on is 22 acres, or 958,320 sq feet. You could fit 1 and 1/2 Alcatraz Islands inside the proposed distribution center!

This has been a long trip. We've been up and down the east coast and even crossed the country looking for buildings that will give us an idea of just how monstrous this project will be. It's time to head back home, but let's make one last stop in Virginia before we give up. I think I saw a building on our travels that might give us a fair comparison. It is a building where government employees work hard to serve and protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens every day. No silly, it's not the Hanover County Economic Development building. I'm referring to the Pentagon! The Pentagon has a 34 acre footprint which puts it very close to 1.5 million square feet. If you could remove the 5th story of the Penatagon, it would also be comparable in height. So there you have it. We found a building comparable in size to the proposed Wegmans distribution center.

Thanks for coming on this journey. We hope that it was educational and maybe even a little entertaining. It is important to stay positive as we go through this formidable bureaucratic process. It is also essential that we remember, there are more of us involved in this than one person can see. Keep talking to family, friends, and neighbors. Keep writing Emails to county officials and attending public meetings. Keep checking Facebook and this website for news and information.

Note - In the next couple days, we will be adding a "New Activity" button at the top of the page to make it easier to find the latest updates. -ProtectHanover

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