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    Specialty Grocer to Use Large Stockton, Calif., Warehouse

    Specialty Grocer to Use LargeOne of the county's largest warehouses soon will become a distribution hub for specialty grocer Trader Joe's.

    One of the county's largest warehouses soon will become a distribution hub for specialty grocer Trader Joe's.

    The privately held company will relocate from an existing distribution facility in the Stockton Airport Business Park to a much larger site, nearly 512,000 square feet, in the same park.

    The company is expanding to accommodate further growth in the Northern California and Pacific Northwest regions, the expected service area for the center, said Leely Brumm, vice president of operations for the Monrovia-based chain.

    "Instead of shipping from Southern California, we'll be storing (more) up in Stockton. It will alleviate a bit of space down here."

    Brumm could not immediately say whether the company, which uses an independent firm to staff the distribution site, would be hiring additional employees for the new location. Representatives of the staffing firm could not be reached by press time Tuesday.

    Trader Joe's owns or leases four distribution centers in California. The chain, which began in 1958 as a string of convenience stores in Los Angeles, now operates about 160 stores nationwide. More than 90 of the stores are in California.

    Trader Joe's representatives declined to reveal sales or performance figures. Information on the rate of store openings wasn't available Tuesday.

    The company will move into the new building over the next several months, vacating its existing site by about February, said Kevin Ramos, a partner with Buzz Oates Cos. in Sacramento.

    The building, at 2121 Boeing Way, is one of several speculative buildings Buzz Oates has constructed in the business park over the past several years. Buzz Oates, a real estate development company offering construction, development and management services, owns and markets the park to prospective tenants.

    The Stockton Airport Business Park is located north of Arch Road between Airport Way and Highway 99.

    Buildings greater than 500,000 square feet are becoming more common as companies attempt to streamline and consolidate multiple sites, Ramos said.

    The building joins other megadistribution projects that have located in San Joaquin County in recent years, including sites run by food giants Kellogg's and Unilever.

    By early fall, Buzz Oates will begin construction on a 545,000-square-foot building that will be designed to accommodate either a single tenant or multiple users.

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