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United Natural Foods to open largest DC

United Natural Foods Inc. announced plans to relocate its New Oxford PA operations to a new 675,000-square-foot distribution facility in the Greenspring Industrial Park in York PA. The York distribution center is expected to begin operations toward the end of 2008 and will be United Natural Foods’ largest distribution facility. It will serve as a distribution hub for customers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The leased York facility is a bulk warehouse owned by First Industrial Realty Trust Inc., a provider of industrial real estate supply chain systems. This center will feature "best in class’ warehousing and inventory control systems, including "Pick-to-Voice" order fulfillment systems.

As part of its commitment to environmentally responsible initiatives, the company will pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for this facility. LEED is a third-party certification program and a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings.

With the opening of the York facility, United Natural Foods will have about 6.2 million square feet of space at 21 distribution centers nationwide. No jobs should be impacted in the transition, and the York site is expected to employ 350 people.

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