CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia officials got an early Christmas present from Macy's on Monday, when the retailing giant announced it will build a 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center in the Martinsburg area.
Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that Macy's had selected Berkeley County from among 157 possible sites to house the $150 million center to process and ship Internet orders from the Macy's and Bloomingdale's websites.
"This is a tremendous investment in West Virginia and its committed work force," Tomblin said during a hastily called Capitol press conference Monday afternoon.
When opened in the spring of 2012, Tomblin said, the new center will provide 900 full-time jobs with benefits, 300 permanent part-time jobs and 700 seasonal jobs, with an annual payroll of $30 million.
Tomblin noted that U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., had worked hard to convince Macy's officials to select the West Virginia site while he was governor.
"I'm happy to carry on with this project," Tomblin said.
Not only will the distribution center -- officially called a "fulfillment center" -- be a major employer in the state, Tomblin noted that the facility would be one of the largest buildings in the state.
While a final location for the site has not been selected, it will have easy access to Interstate 81 in Berkeley County. Construction is set to begin in the spring.
The state Development Office will provide about $7 million of incentives for the center. All involve standard programs offered by the office, including a loan for site development assistance, and the state economic-opportunity tax credit.
Area community and technical colleges will partner with Macy's to provide any job-training programs required for the center.
Tomblin on Monday thanked Terry Lundgren, president and CEO of Macy's Inc., for selecting West Virginia as home to the new distribution center, which will serve Internet customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
"To say I'm pleased with the results of his effort is an understatement," Tomblin said of his first major economic-development announcement since he took over the governorship after Manchin won the Nov. 2 special election to replace the late-Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., in Washington.Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.