SUFFOLK -- Ace Hardware will need 75 workers for its new East Coast import re-distribution center in Suffolk.

The company is investing $14 million and will be the first tenant in the CenterPoint Intermodal Center on Route 58.

Company officials say the facility will help Ace stores meet customer needs quicker, especially during weather emergencies. 54 stores across Virginia are part of the Ace Hardware cooperative.

It will receive international items through the Port of Virginia.

'We investigated several cities along the Gulf and East Coasts to find the ideal location that will allow us to lower costs and provide optimum service to our retailers,' said Lori Bossmann, senior vice president; supply chain & retail support for Ace Hardware Corp. 'Suffolk is only 30 miles from the Port of Virginia, which is the most modern port in the United States. We also have the capabilities to expand our new facility up to 500,000 square feet in order to accommodate future needs and anticipated growth.'

Construction of 336,000-square foot facility should be done by May 1, 2012.

'Ace Hardware's decision to locate their newest import center in Suffolk is a testament to the welcoming business climate we have cultivated in our city,' stated Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson.

Governor Bob McDonnell added, 'I am extremely pleased that Ace Hardware Corporation has recognized the world-class capabilities of Virginia's premier transportation system that includes the Port of Virginia, one of the largest intermodal networks on the East Coast.'

There was no information on when the company would begin accepting applications.

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