VF to open distribution center near Berks-Lebanon border

'This is outstanding news for the people of Berks'

GREENSBORO, N.C. - A company founded in Berks County more than a century ago is expanding its local presence with the opening of a new distribution center.

VF Corporation announced Thursday that it will invest up to $52-million in opening a 500,000-square-foot distribution center in the Jonestown area of Lebanon County, near the border with Berks.

"As our direct-to-consumer business continues to grow, we see the consumer-focused opportunity to expand our distribution operations so that we can more quickly service our consumers in the Northeastern U.S.," said Steve Rendle, VF's chairman, president and CEO. "Jonestown is the ideal place for our new distribution center and warehouse, given its skilled workforce and geographic location."

The North Carolina-based company, once headquartered in Wyomissing, also said it will create more than 175 full-time jobs over the next three years.

"This is outstanding news for the people of Berks, Lebanon and Dauphin counties," said U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, who represents the area. "VF Corporation's commitment to base a key distribution center in the area will have a very beneficial impact on the area, both economically and with increased employment opportunities. I also applaud their commitment to using an existing facility."

The news comes a little more than a year after VF finalized the sale of its outlet center complex in Wyomissing to Philadelphia-based Equus Development Corporation, which is spending $70 million to redevelop the sprawling site into a mix of office, retail, and restaurant space. VF will retain its retail and office presence there.

"Originally founded in Pennsylvania, VF has a long history in our state," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. "We're pleased that VF has chosen to expand on this successful foundation by bringing more than 175 good-paying jobs to families in Lebanon County."

VF received a funding proposal from the state's Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for $358,000 in job creation tax credits, which will be distributed upon creation of the new jobs, and $48,600 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.

VF said it plans to open the distribution center in early 2019.

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