AutoZone will invest $185.2 million to build a new warehouse and distribution center in New Kent, Virginia, according to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office.
The 800,000-square-foot DC and direct import facility will serve as AutoZone’s East Coast distribution operation, enabling the company to access nearly half of U.S. consumers within a one-day drive. AutoZone has more than 145 stores in Virginia and more than 735 stores in neighboring states along the East Coast.
The DC will create 352 new jobs, according to the governor’s office.
The facility will be the first major tenant in the New Kent City Center industrial park, according to an article by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The 1,600-acre New Kent City Center, billed as “Virginia’s largest ready-to-develop multiple-use site,” is located near I-64 and state Route 106.
Former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam approved a $2.51 million grant to assist New Kent County with the project. AutoZone is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, and will be able to take advantage of funding and services from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program to support its onboarding and training efforts, according to the state. Dominion Energy Virginia also will assist with the project.
“During our rigorous and competitive search process to identify our next distribution center location, Virginia and New Kent County leadership were tremendous and instrumental in us deciding to join this wonderful community,” AutoZone CEO Bill Rhodes said in a news release. “Our large-scale investment in New Kent County is an important part of our strategy for accelerated growth and represents our commitment to always put customers first.”
In a news release, state officials touted Virginia as “a premier logistics destination serving as a single gateway into critical customer markets.”
“AutoZone’s decision to establish such a large footprint in the commonwealth is a testament to the infrastructure assets we have in place to ensure their products get to more store shelves predictably,” Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller said. “The Youngkin administration will actively seek ways to ensure The Port of Virginia and the road and rail freight corridors are positioned to handle increased capacity for years to come.”
Stephen Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, applauded AutoZone for its decision “to build its East Coast distribution center in Virginia and capitalize on the access to global markets offered by The Port of Virginia.”
“This company is going to be a significant importer, so consistency in its logistics supply chain is critical to a successful operation,” Edwards added. “The investments we’re making in our terminals will help to ensure that AutoZone can grow its volumes without concern. We welcome AutoZone and are looking forward to a long, collaborative relationship.”
AutoZone’s existing distribution centers are located in Ontario, California; Pasco, Washington; Terrell, Texas; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Tennessee; Lavonia, Georgia; Tolleson, Arizona; Ocala, Florida; Zanesville, Ohio; and Danville, Illinois.
In December, AutoZone announced plans to build a new distribution center in Chowchilla, California.