PetSmart to open distribution center, create 500 jobs in Berks County

PetSmart to open distribution center, create 500 jobs

HARRISBURG, Pa. - PetSmart will expand its presence in Berks County with the opening of a distribution center that will create at least 500 jobs, Gov. Tom Corbett announced Thursday.

"Bringing projects like PetSmart's distribution center to our state is adding jobs and having a positive economic impact on local communities," Corbett said.

PetSmart will build a $50 million, 870,000-square-foot distribution center in Berks Park 78, a new industrial park in Bethel Township, Corbett said. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall, with completion expected in the first quarter of 2014.

The project is expected to create at least 500 new jobs by 2016, Corbett said.

The company received a $2.3 million funding offer from the Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $1 million Pa. First grant, $245,250 in job training assistance and $1.09 million in job creation tax credits, state officials said.

"Bethel presented itself as an ideal location for our new distribution center, and we are excited to become an active part of this community," said Eddie Burt, PetSmart's senior vice president of supply chain. "The construction of this new facility and the jobs it's creating is just the beginning of our vibrant partnership with the town of Bethel."

The Governor's Action Team, made up of a group of economic development professionals, worked with the Berks County Industrial Development Authority to bring PetSmart's new distribution facility to Pennsylvania, officials said.

"We are doubly blessed to have another wonderful company like PetSmart coming to Berks Park 78," said Thomas McKeon, executive director of the Berks County Industrial Development Authority. What a terrific addition they make to our community's resume."

Just last month, Dollar General announced plans to build a $100 million distribution center in the same industrial park and employ 500 people.

PetSmart Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of products, services, and solutions for pets. The company operates more than 1,200 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including stores in Muhlenberg Township and Wyomissing.

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