Ground Broken for Macy's Distribution Center in Martinsburg

By: Sarah Robarge (TV3)
By: Sarah Robarge (TV3)

By this time next year, a new distribution center is expected to be open in West Virginia, creating thousands of jobs.

Ground was broken on a 92 acre campus for the Macy's distribution center in Martinsburg Friday.

The 1.3 million square feet will handle online sales along the East Coast for the retailer, which have grown by more than 35 percent.

The company look at almost 200 sites around the nation before having to choose between New York and West Virginia.

Peter Longo, the president of Macy's logistics and operations, says, in retrospect, it was an easy decision.

He says, "Have the geographically right spot from a cost perspective but beyond that, knowing the workforce availability, the great work ethic of the people of West Virginia, it all came together rather easily and I think with a great result."

Company leaders also say this is an ideal location for the center because of easy access to Interstate 81 as well as customers and suppliers.

Longo says just building the facility will generate almost 3,000 jobs and when that work is finished, the center will employ 1,200 full-time and 700 peak-season workers.

Stephen Christian, with the Berkeley County Development Authority, says, "This is a real game changer for us. As you know, the last few years have been a pretty rocky road economically. We think that this particular facility could actually reduce our unemployment rate all by itself."

Acting West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was there, wielding a shovel and driving a backhoe.

He says this groundbreaking is just the beginning of progress in the area.

"It would've been nice if I'd had five minutes practice before they put me up there, but hey we broke the ground and we got the construction started here today," says Tomblin. "To locate their largest fulfillment center in the country, I'm very pleased. I think that sends a signal out to other businesses that West Virginia is a good place to come and do business."

This is the largest investment in Macy's history.

Longo says, "To spend $150 million of our capital on a project in support of the fasted growing part of our business, to know that we're coming into a community and a state that is welcoming us with open arms that you all are, we couldn't be more pleased and we know we made the right decision."

The facility is expected to be fully operational next spring.


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