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(Brianne Harrison is associate editor of Real Estate New Jersey and part of a three-person team now covering the Philadelphia market.)

YORK, PA-United Natural Foods, Inc. revealed plans to relocate its distribution operations from New Oxford, PA to 675,000 sf in the Greenspring Industrial Park. The Dayville, CT-based company hopes to commence operations in the new space by the end of 2008.

The Greenspring space will be the company’s largest distribution facility and will serve UNFI’s operations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Terms of the lease were not disclosed, but industrial space in the area typically goes for between $3 to $6 dollars per sf.

“We are excited to expand our operations in Pennsylvania and are pleased to partner with the community of York,” says Michael Beaudry, president of the eastern region for UNFI, in a company statement. The company currently occupies 248,000 sf in New Oxford, approximately 23 miles from the Greenspring site.

The new facility is expected to employ 350 people. UNFI plans to pursue LEED certification for the new facility, as part of its commitment to environmentally responsible initiatives.

“We continue to be environmentally responsible by using green construction methods and renewable energy sources whenever possible, which, in the long run also serve to significantly lower our operating costs,” says Beaudry, in a company release. The benefits of greening buildings was recently discussed in GlobeSt.com’s first webinar, “the Business Case for Going Green.”

Greenspring Industrial Park is a spec property owned by First Industrial Realty Trust. UNFI’s building is the only one that has been completed so far, but First Industrial plans to add two more buildings to the park, for a total of 1.2 million sf on more than 120 acres of land.

“This is a great location for distribution,” Max Wilder, a broker with First Industrial tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s less than a mile off interstate 83.” The property is also within easy reach of interstate 81 and the PA Turnpike.

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