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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Home Depot will open a 465,000-square-foot rapid deployment center, meant to serve as a distribution point for 150 stores in the Southeast, in Columbia next January. Located in the Lexington County Industrial Park, plans call for 171 dock doors and 18,000 square feet of office space. Columbia-based Miller-Valentine Group has broken ground on the project, which will be constructed in 28 weeks.

The facility is part of the home improvement retailer’s plan to move from a decentralized retailer system — every store carrying a large amount of goods — to a regional system.
“In the past, they’ve kept a lot of on-hand stock in the stores,” says Kurt Eyring of Miller-Valentine. The new warehouse will also allow The Home Depot to expand its product line, he says.

When completed, approximately 300 workers will find employment in the new center. But judging from other deployment centers that have been built throughout the country, Chuck Salley of Colliers Keenan’s Columbia office says he doesn’t expect the project to generate more development.

“In other markets that really hasn’t been the case,” Salley says. “It will be a nice job creator.”

The Home Depot considered a number of locations for the warehouse — officials took 24 months to find the right site — and one of the main requirements is what Eyring calls the “fast pace of the schedule.” Even with a small time window, he’s confident the facility will be complete by the deadline.

“We’ll get it done,” he says.

— Jon Ross

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