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MORENO VALLEY, CA-United Natural Foods Inc. of Dayville, CT has signed a 10-year, $28.5 million lease to occupy the entire 613,174-sf March Commerce Center, according to the Charles Dunn Co. Greg Gill and John Bowman of Charles Dunn, a partner in GVA Worldwide, note that the deal gives the Connecticut-based company its largest distribution center in the US.

Gill and Bowman represented United Natural, which is the first tenant to take space in the March Commerce Center, which was built in 2006 but was never occupied. Bowman notes that United Natural Foods plans to install about $10 million of improvements, including freezers and refrigeration units for its food distribution business.

The March Commerce Center is owned by Cactus Commerce LLC, which was represented by Gus Andros and John Murphy of Collins Commercial along with Bruce Springer of Grubb & Ellis. The new United Natural Foods facility is at 22150 Goldencrest Dr.

The lease for the March Commerce Center space is a continuation of about five years of steady growth in distribution space for United Natural, which has added approximately 1.9 million sf of warehouse capacity since 2002, a doubling of its space. The company carries more than 40,000 products, supplying in excess of 17,000 customers nationwide at a variety of retail formats, including super natural chains, independent natural products retailers and conventional supermarkets.

The company’s expansion includes other West Coast facilities, among them a new 237,000-sf distribution center that it is constructing in Ridgefield, WA to serve as a regional distribution hub for customers in the Northwest. A 487,000-sf distribution center in Rocklin, CA serves as a distribution hub for customers in Northern California and surrounding areas.

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