Urban Outfitters eyes $105M expansion in Gap

URBNUrban Outfitters, with sales rising rapidly, figures it must add to its merchandise-distribution network to keep up.

And as part of its strategy to meet that need across North America, the firm wants another distribution center in this region.

Not just any old distribution center, though.

Urban Outfitters calculates that it has to be huge — a million square feet, or nearly the size of Park City Center — and state of the art.

What Urban Outfitters hasn’t yet determined is where to put the $105 million facility.

But among four sites under consideration is a farm across the street from an existing Urban Outfitters distribution center in Gap.

David Ziel, chief development officer for the specialty retailer, on Thursday announced his firm’s plan to add a distribution center in the region.

He called the Gap site “the lead contender.”

Ziel declined to identify the other sites, except to say they are outside Pennsylvania.

“We know we have a need. It’s a million-square-foot need, and we’re trying to figure out where to land that million square feet,” he said.

“That’s what we’re up to right now.”

Urban Outfitters expects to make its decision within four months.

If Urban Outfitters opts for the Gap site, the company would want to break ground by Jan. 1 and open the facility in summer 2015.

Development of the massive building would create 300 construction jobs, Urban Outfitters estimates.

The distribution center would begin operations with 500 employees, a workforce that could reach 1,000 to 1,500 a decade later.

The project would be one of the biggest economic-development ventures ever, in terms of jobs and investment.

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