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USA: Trader Joe’s to build massive distribution center in Palmdale

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Trader Joe’s (owned by the German discount Aldi Nord) will begin construction later this year on a 1 million-square-foot food assembly and distribution center in Palmdale that’s expected to employ 800 to 1,000 workers. The company operates additional distribution centers in Fontana and Stockton, as well as more than 500 stores in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

Trader Joe’s will begin construction later this year on a 1 million-square-foot food assembly and distribution center in Palmdale that’s expected to employ 800 to 1,000 workers. The 104-acre project site, at the southeast corner of Avenue M and 10th St. West, will include three buildings, an 827,000-square-foot “hub” building, a 211,000-square-foot freezer facility and a 6,000-square-foot accessory building.

Construction of the 1.03-million-square-foot logistics center is scheduled to begin in December and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024. It will support Trader Joe’s stores throughout Southern California. The city included several conditions of approval for the project, including the widening of Avenue M and 10th St. West, construction of a sidewalk, curb and gutter, installation of a 12-foot bike path along Avenue M and 10th St. West and the installation of traffic signals at the 14 freeway/Ave M off ramps. The project, which gained Planning Commission approval at a January 2022 meeting, lies within the Antelope Valley Business Park Specific Plan and is covered under the plan’s Environmental Impact Report, which was approved in 1992. “We are thrilled that Trader Joe’s has selected Palmdale as a destination to expand their business with their new food assembly and distribution facility,” Mayor Laura Bettencourt said in a statement. Bettencourt said the project aligns with the city’s “commitment to economic vitality, innovation and job creation,” and will likely spur additional industrial development in Palmdale. It will also bring more property tax revenue to the city. City officials said it will be Trader Joe’s first distribution center in Los Angeles County and the company’s largest logistics facility in California. The company operates additional distribution facilities in Fontana and Stockton. Representatives with the Monrovia-based retail chain could not be reached to comment on the cost of the project, but the city placed its value, counting construction and improvements, at more than US$150 million.

City Councilman Austin Bishop said the new jobs will be welcome, as the region has more than 70,000 commuters who often make their way into Los Angeles and surrounding areas on clogged freeways.

“The idea of providing opportunities for our residents to work closer to home and spend less time commuting so they can free up their time to spend with family contributes to the overall well-being of our community,” he said.

Trader Joe’s didn’t say what jobs will be available at the new facility or what the wages will be. But data from Indeed.com show packers at Trader Joe’s warehouses in California average $18.33 an hour, while forklift operators make $18.96 an hour and order pickers average $23.93.

The Trader Joe’s distribution complex will be Palmdale’s third largest facility, behind Northrop and Lockheed’s operations at Air Force Plant 42, city officials said.

The project will also include a 12.2-acre Joshua tree preservation area. Placards will be placed at various locations surrounding the area to identify western Joshua trees with information concerning the importance of their conservation.

Founded in 1967 in the L.A. area, Trader Joe’s has since expanded to include more than 500 stores in 42 states and Washington, D.C.



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