SEABROOK — US Foods, a nationwide food distribution giant, wants to relocate to Seabrook from its current facility in Peabody, bringing millions of dollars in construction investments and more than 300 jobs to town.
Representatives from the company briefly described their hopes to Planning Board members Tuesday night. They want to buy the 505,000-square-foot Poland Springs warehouse on Ledge Road, spend close to $40 million in renovations and improvements, bring their 270 Peabody-based employees to run it, then hire as many as 100 new staff members, they said.
Jeffrey Barnes, director of corporate real estate for US Foods, and John Glynn, president of its Boston division, spoke with Planning Board members. The two had already shared their plans with Town Manager Bill Manzi and town planner Tom Morgan.
Barnes and Glynn were at the Planning Board to announce their intent and to seek the board’s advice before officially filing for site plan review. Given the “tight window” they have to acquire the Poland Springs building and 80-acre site, and the need to complete extensive improvements before its lease runs out in Peabody, US Foods needs an organized planning process that moves swiftly, they said.
“We intend to do everything on our end to keep the project moving,” Barnes said.
With no expansion possible at their property in Peabody, the company has spent four years looking at relocation sites, Barnes said. When they found the Seabrook location, they felt Poland Springs’ already existing, huge storage warehouse presents an “exciting and unique opportunity” to relocate from its “older, tired, inefficient” 188,000-square-foot warehouse, they said.
Glynn said, since it is within quick reach of Interstate 95, the Seabrook building would be an ideal place from which to distributes its tens of thousands of products to restaurants, hospitals, schools and government operation throughout eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.