Penske Logistics, in partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement, has officially opened a new 1.2 million square foot distribution facility in Winlock’s industrial park.
At the time of the facility’s grand opening on Friday, the facility had 116 total employees and was serving 30 Lowe’s stores, with plans to expand service to 63 stores by the end of 2022.
“We’re really proud to have the Lowe’s-Penske partnership here in Western Washington, in beautiful Winlock, Washington, which for many of us, we did not know what Winlock was six or eight months ago. We do now and we’re very very appreciative of the great support we’ve gotten locally,” said Peter Bayer Jr., senior vice president of distribution for Penske Logistics, at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the facility.
Construction of the facility was completed on Sept. 27, about one year after Lowe’s first announced the lease for the warehouse space in October 2020.
“It’s been a long time coming to get this building up and running, all the planning involved from the ground up,” said Hasina Davidson, senior director of Lowe’s bulk distribution center operations.
The ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday welcomed local government officials as well as members of the Lowe’s and Penske teams who helped build and staff the facility, one of three buildings Penske operates for Lowe’s.
“Like anything else, standing up a building, as an operation, is no small endeavor … But the real secret of an operation like this is the people. It is forming a team, and it really is a team of teams,” Bayer said.
Most of the staff orientation was done at Winlock’s community center, which Bayer said was unusual for a Penske operation but symbolic of the warm welcome the Winlock community has given Penske-Lowe’s team.
“The local support has been fantastic,” Bayer said.
The facility is the largest in Winlock’s industrial park, which is owned by Seattle company Benaroya, and is expected to facilitate exceptional growth in the Winlock area.
“Having a new distribution center in our local community is going to bring in now only jobs, but a new tax base that will support the infrastructure,” said Lewis County Public Utility District Commissioner Michael Kelly.