Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), a leading national distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods, will construct a new state-of-the-art, 525,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility in the Town of Montgomery, Orange County, investing more than $55 million and creating more than 360 new jobs.
This is great news for New York and great news for Orange County, Governor Cuomo said. This administration has had a laser-like focus on opening New Yorks doors to business and creating an environment where companies, such as United Natural Foods, Inc., can grow and invest. Todays announcement is proof-positive that this message has been received.
This is UNFIs first distribution center in New York. The new state-of-the-art facility is expected to be up and running by fall of 2014.
UNFI is pleased to partner with New York State and the Town of Montgomery to expand our operations here in the Northeast, said Sean Griffin, UNFIs Group President. We feel Montgomery is the optimal location for us to better service our customers and increase our operational efficiencies while reducing our costs and emissions. We look forward to growing together with this great community.
Located near I-84 in the Hudson Valley, the new facility will allow UNFI to improve its distribution efficiencies and service to the growing metro New York, Long Island and New York markets, while alleviating capacity issues in the companys existing northeast facilities. The Montgomery facility will allow UNFI to enhance efficiencies, improve productivity through best in class warehousing and inventory control systems, lower operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The new distribution facility will be the second largest in the UNFI network. It is expected to open with 223 associates; increasing up to 331 associates within the first two years based on current plans for increased capacity to meet demand. The new distribution facility will feature CO2 refrigeration systems, robust refrigerated cooler and freezer capacity, and increased cold chain integrity. In order to encourage investment of more than $55 million and to create new jobs, Empire State Development, the states economic development agency, is providing the company with $3.6 million in tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program.
Thanks to Governor Cuomos leadership, businesses arent just giving New York State a second look - they are choosing the state as the place to expand and grow jobs, said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. Todays announcement is a win for Orange County and for New York State.
Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana said, This is great news for Orange County. I want to welcome UNFI and congratulate ESD and our economic development team: Deputy County Executive Jimmy ODonnell, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation CEO Larry Gottlieb and Orange County Partnership CEO Maureen Halahan for landing this prestigious company. We look forward to adding 360 new jobs to our workforce. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Governor Cuomo for his economic development initiatives.
Town of Montgomery Supervisor Michael Hayes said, UNFI will be a major asset to the Town of Montgomery. The company will also benefit from our optimal location, the quality of our workforce and our commitment to fostering economic development.
Maureen Halahan, President and CEO of the Orange County Partnership said, This exciting announcement is a credit to UNFI and the work of the elected officials, permitting bodies and developers of Orange County. The countys team worked quickly and efficiently to conduct its due-diligence and facilitate a great opportunity for all parties involved.
Laurence Gottleib, President & CEO, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation said, This latest win for Orange County is a direct reflection of the county's dynamic leadership working as a team with local, regional and state economic developers to attract new companies and jobs to the region. HVEDC is proud to be a partner in this fantastic win for Orange County, and we look forward to continuing this win streak well into the future.
In conjunction with UNFIs goal of making natural and healthy products available to everyone, the business strives to have the lowest possible impact on the natural environment. As part of its commitment to Green Initiatives, the Company plans to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for this distribution facility once operations commence. LEED is a third party certification program and a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the company's website at www.unfi.com.