Distribution center to expand

FLORIDA (May 7, 2010)—U.S. Foodservice plans to expand its Port Orange distribution facility to more than 400,000 square feet, merging the company's Ormond Beach plant into it.

The company has informed its customers and employees that it plans to more than double the Port Orange Facility by mid-2011, spokeswoman Christina Koliopoulos said Tuesday in an e-mail.

The two facilities have about 500 employees, and any new jobs would only be created by increased business volume, Koliopoulos said.

"This $35 million expansion will enable the company to provide its customers in the growing mid-Florida market with an expanded range of products and improved efficiency," Koliopoulos said.

The Ormond Beach facility cannot be expanded, so this move would give the company "a single strategically located distribution center," she said. "The consolidation will reduce fixed costs and result in more efficient routing and higher warehouse productivity."

The company hasn't asked for any business incentives, which probably means it doesn't anticipate creating any new jobs, said Phil Ehlinger, executive director of the Volusia County Department of Economic Development. "That doesn't mean they might not. Hopefully it's a positive rather than a negative."

U.S. Foodservice's expansion plan for its North Star Foodservice facility goes before the city's Staff Development Review Committee on May 14, but eventually increasing the size of the facility was part of its original plan.

"They would be modifying their St. Johns (River Water Management District) permit rather than getting a new one," said Mike Disher, the city's planning and development manager.

The company would still have to go through the city permitting process, he said, but "it would just be updating it from something conceptual to what they're actually doing."

The company's expansion will increase the size of the facility to 409,000 square feet from 168,000 square feet, Koliopoulos said. In addition to adding refrigerated, freezer and dry storage and a total of 30 additional truck docks, the project will include state-of-the-art food storage technology and equipment.

U.S. Foodservice, the second largest food distributor in the U.S. after Sysco, is a private company jointly owned by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts after being sold by former parent Royal Ahold in mid-2007.

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