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FRONT ROYAL, VA-Food product marketer and distributor Houston-headquartered Sysco Corp. has selected this rural Shenandoah Valley town to be the home of its first US redistribution facility. The company plans to invest $53 million to establish an 800,000-sf facility–expandable to 1.2 million sf–that will serve 14 Sysco distribution centers in the eastern and Mid-Atlantic regions. Virginia beat out Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia in the competition secure the facility, which will bring 388 new jobs to the area.

“Sysco will benefit from Warren County’s dedicated workforce and access to the Virginia Inland Port, which helps position the state as a major distribution hub,” Virginia Gov. Mark Warner says of Sysco’s impending location to the area. The state approved a $200,000 Governor’s Opportunity Fund grant to assist the company in its endeavor. Sysco is in the process of purchasing property in an area north of Interstate Highway 66, but specifics on the size of the parcel and its cost are not being released. “Nothing has been finalized,” Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority project property manager Jennifer R. McDonald tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s not a 100% guarantee that the center is going to be in Front Royal.”

The town, however, is home to a great many business parks that would be able to accommodate an 800,000-sf plus facility. Among the sundry industrial enclaves are the 389-acreToray Park where Toray Plastics invested $61 million for its 190,000-sf plant, the 215-acre Happy Creek, and the 134-acre Stephens Park, to name a few. A firm decision on location is not far off, as Sysco plans to begin construction in September to have the facility up and running by the end of 2003.

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