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OTTAWA, KS-American Eagle Outfitters is opening a distribution center here. The Pennsylvania-based clothing retailer chose to open itsfirst Midwestern distribution here aftertalks stalled when the retailer tried to find a space in Lawrence, KS.

American Eagle is to purchase an empty warehouse and open a $31 milliondistribution center by June. The center is expected to employ as many as 300 new workers.Part of the appeal of the 290,000 sf building was that it wasimmediately available. Until about two years ago, the building had beenoccupied by a hardward company that has since gone out of business.

American Eagle plans to enlarge the building, which sits on a 30-acre site to more than 400,000 sf. The project is the second largest inMiami county history, second only to a Wal-Mart distribution center.Next month, American Eagle will go before the Ottawa City Council to askfor a 50% tax abatement on real and personal property taxes for10 years.

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