SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Bulk retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. said Thursday it's building a new $40 million distribution center in Salt Lake City.
The 470,000-square-foot center, which is already under construction, will serve Costco stores in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Montana.
The center will be built in four phases, but part of the project is expected to be operational by November. It will initially provide 175 new jobs in the Salt Lake City metro area. That number is expect to grow to 210 jobs once the project is completed, Gov. Jon Huntsman said.
"They had a lot of states to choose from and they chose Utah and Salt Lake City," Huntsman said. "This further solidifies (Utah) in being a crossroads of the West, if not the crossroads of the West."
The center is the first project slated for a 300-acre business and industrial park west of downtown near Salt Lake City International Airport, said Everett Shine, a director of commercial development for Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises.
The depot -- Costco's 11th in the country -- will house and dispense dry goods and groceries to about 32 Costco warehouses in the-four state area.
"We've been in Utah since almost the beginning," said Peter Kahn, Costco manager for real estate development. "Part of that success has translated into the need for a distribution center in the area."
He said the transportation accessibility of the distribution center and what he called Utah's "superior work force" were key to their decision in choosing the state. The company was not offered any business incentives by the state, Kahn said.
The jobs will be comparable to or exceed the pay of typical manufacturing jobs in Salt Lake City, he said. The majority will be full-time, with some part-time and seasonal positions, Kahn said.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon was also on hand for the announcement, and said the county is thrilled with the expected jobs.
"Having a distribution center shows (Costco's) further commitment to Utah," Corroon said.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)