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LEBANON, OR-Lowe’s has acquired a 205-acre parcel here on which it will develop a 1.36-million-sf distribution facility that may ultimately be expanded to more than two million sf. Even at the smaller size, the distribution center will be among the top three largest singe-story buildings in the state when it is complete in late 2007.A source at Lowe’s says the company will break ground on the estimated $90-million project as soon as it receives one additional permit from the Army Corps of Engineers related to wetlands mitigation for its 205-acre development parcel. As part of the estimated $12-million incentive package put together to entice the company to develop the facility here, Lowe’s acquired the property for $6.91 million or $0.77 per sf.The parcel is located northwest of the intersection of Reeves Parkway and Hansard Avenue and is bounded on the north by Gore Drive. The property is located within the city limits and is zoned industrial. According to the City of Lebanon, Lowe’s has shown plans for a possible future expansion of the center to 2.15 million sf.On top of the 350 construction jobs, a source at Lowe’s says the facility will likely employ 400 people at start-up and, at maturity, may employ as many as 800 people. A nearly identical facility that opened in Florida in October 2004 is now employing more than 600.The building will have five miles of conveyor belts and serve 75 Lowe’s stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Nationwide, the company has about 1,125 stores in 49 states, with another 150 planned for 2006. The company had sales of $36.5 billion in 2004.Beyond Lowe’s the City of Lebanon says the extension of roads and other infrastructure to the Lowe’s site will incidentally provide these services to other vacant industrial sites. Approximately 125 acres of vacant industrial property will find itself ready for immediate development as a result of the project, according to the city. That will be useful because Lowe’s distribution warehouses typically attract additional industrial development. According to the City of Lebanon, the Lowe’s distribution facility in Perris, CA triggered over a dozen additional industrial partners supplying the Lowe’s facility.As well, city officials say some existing Lebanon businesses that have been limited by infrastructure constraints are having that roadblock removed by the Lowe’s project. Expansion of existing businesses such as Entek and Economy Supply can now proceed, according to the city.In addition to the new Oregon facility, Lowe’s is in the process of expanding three existing distribution facilities in Valdosta, GA; Statesville, NC; and North Vernon, IN. The three expansions, totaling 1.4 million sf, are expected to be online by spring 2006. Nationwide, Lowe’s operates 11 distribution centers.

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