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ATLANTA-Greenwich, CT-based Unilever Home & Personal Care-North America has signed a 10-year lease for an expanded, 1.04-million-sf distribution facility in Palmetto, GA. The building consists of a newly constructed 443,520-sf addition to the existing 600,000 sf. Terms of the lease were not disclosed, however, distribution facility rentals in the Palmetto area are valued at approximately $4 per sf, according to GlobeSt.com research.

Denver-based ProLogis, a provider of distribution facilities and services worldwide, purchased the building, then occupied by Unilever, in 1999. ProLogis, Unilever and Pittsburgh-based Genco Distribution Systems, a third-party logistics supplier that operates this and other Unilever distribution centers, worked together in planning and developing the site. The cost of the expansion was not disclosed. Greg Arnold, senior vice president of ProLogis, and David Welch, first vice president and the ProLogis market officer in Atlanta, handled the transaction.

The Palmetto site will serve six surrounding states, providing customers with consolidated shipments of such diverse Unilever products as Dove, Wisk, Lipton tea and Skippy peanut butter in a single day, according to a printed statement by Fred Berkheimer, vice president of logistics for Unilever Home and Personal Care. Genco will continue to operate the Unilever facility and employ 170 at the site.

Home and Personal Care is one of a group of companies owned and operated by Rotterdam-based Unilever, which does business in 88 countries and has annual sales of $49 billion worldwide. US sales are approximately $11 billion a year.

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