Whirlpool to build 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Wilmer

April 29, 2010

Bill Hethcock
Dallas Business Journal

Whirlpool Corp. plans to build a 1 million-square-foot regional distribution center in Wilmer, south of Dallas, to serve the southern United States, the company has confirmed.

The facility will be part of a nationwide consolidation of regional distribution centers by the appliance maker, Whirlpool spokeswoman Jody Lau wrote in an e-mail in response to a Dallas Business Journal inquiry about the project.

“Pending final due diligence, Whirlpool plans to build a 1 million square-feet regional distribution center in Wilmer, Texas, which will serve the Southern United States, the email says.

"As part of its overall logistics transformation plan, Whirlpool Corporation’s supply chain group is consolidating its regional distribution centers (RDCs) to streamline deliveries and increase efficiencies. The transformation will help ensure improved and easier transactions for trade customers and consumers.”

The company has not provided job numbers, projected costs or other details about the project.

The DBJ reported last October that the appliance maker was zeroing in on southern Dallas County for a large distribution hub. Whirlpool is overhauling its distribution system nationwide, consolidating more than 40 older sites into about 10 large regional distribution centers. The goal is to reduce inventory and speed delivery.

The company considered sites across North Texas, including Denton County, north Tarrant County and southern Dallas County, according to industrial real estate brokers and economic development officials. It has been searching the market for more than two years.

The winning site is the First Park DalPort Distribution Center along Interstate 45 in the southern Dallas County town of Wilmer, commercial real estate sources say. The 365-acre masterplanned business park is being developed by First Industrial Realty Trust.

Whirlpool now leases about 725,000 square feet in the Carter Industrial Park in south Fort Worth, and is expected to vacate most or all of that space after it builds its distribution center, a source familiar with the search said.

Duke Realty Corp. will develop the distribution center for Whirlpool, market sources say.

A million-square-foot distribution center would typically employ 300 people or more, although job creation figures are difficult to gauge because of varying levels of automation and other factors.



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