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SEATTLE-Home furnishing and gift retailer Pier 1 Imports is expanding its presence in the Pacific Northwest with the construction of a 450,000-sf warehouse that will be developed as a build-to-suit by First Industrial Realty Trust. The warehouse, which will be located in DuPont, will serve as a distribution center for Pier 1. According to Dick Astheimer, SVP of development for First Industrial Realty Trust, the warehouse had already been designed when First Industrial proposed to develop it. The facility, which will include approximately 10,000 sf of office space, will receive shipments from the Port of Tacoma. Astheimer tells Globest.com that Ft. Worth, TX-based Pier 1 is looking to expand its presence into the Seattle area and to facilitate shipping to other areas. The company currently has six distribution centers in North America. The warehouse in DuPont will employ approximately 70 workers and will serve store locations in the Northwestern portion of the United States and Western Canada. “It will allow us to more efficiently serve our customers by providing more timely merchandise allocations, logistics and transportation needs for the store locations it services,” says David Walker, Pier 1′s EVP of transportation, logistics and allocations. The new warehouse comes at a time of expansion for Pier I, which opened 67 net new Pier 1 stores, five net new Pier 1 Kids stores and seven new international stores in fiscal 2005, with plans to open approximately 85 new stores and close approximately 25 stores in North America during fiscal 2006. Wallace Murfit, senior investment officer for First Industrial’s Seattle, WA and Northern California regions, notes that the development of the warehouse for Pier I marks the REIT’s entry into Seattle, where First Industrial plans to expand its presence.

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