Hennage Creative Printers Inc., a 36-year-old District company that has been a pioneer in producing and distributing multicolor publications, plans to move to Alexandria by mid-1982.
President Joseph H. Hennage announced at a news conference yesterday that his firm has purchased the former Tesco building at 530 N. Henry St., which will be remodeled into a major printing plant.
In addition, Hennage awarded a contract to Norsab Inc. for construction of a new office building to adjoin the publishing factory. The Tesco building was constructed in 1915 as the Alexandria Grain and Feed Co. Situated on a one-acre block, the new Hennage complex will occupy 30,000 square feet of office and plant space.
Hennage's departure from the District is one in a series of moves by printing firms to the Washington suburbs over the past decade. About 60 jobs as well as Hennage tax revenues will be lost to D.C. in the move.
Whereas printing formerly was a major D.C. business sector, relocations to the suburbs have left area printing jobs evenly divided between the city and adjacent jurisdictions. Many of the remaining city-based jobs are held by reporters, editors, and advertising and business executives rather than by production personnel. About 22,400 persons were employed by printing and publishing firms in the area during September, about 11,000 of which were in D.C.
According to Hennage, he never was contacted by District government representatives about his plans to relocate, which began more than two years ago. "They don't pay much attention to many of the businesses . . . other than hotels," he said yesterday of D.C. officials.
Hennage's current plant at 9th and H Streets NW has been sold to Beacon Corp. as part of a parcel that will include a hotel and office complex close by the new convention center. In terms of tax generation for the city when the new project is finished downtown, "They'll pay more taxes than us," Hennage stated. Production will continue at the D.C. plant until June 1982, he added.
The printing executive said the cost of land in D.C., close to his customers in the downtown area, made the move to Alexandria "a natural transition" and he credited officials of the Northern Virginia city as well as the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce with helping in extensive marketing research about the best location for a new plant.
Hennage started the business here in 1945, and he was a founder of the Creative Printers of America. The company focuses on a full range of market analyses, design, planning and mailing, in addition to basic printing with computer-refined presses. In national competition, Hennage has won more than 125 awards -- including more than half a dozen first-place honors from the Printing Industries of America.