CVS Distribution Center Celebrates Grand Opening

Posted September 29, 2011

Massive CVS Distribution Center Open for Business
By John Zick, Corning Leader

A few years ago, it was nothing more than 300 acres of marshy farmland. Today, it’s the epicenter of regional activity for the country’s leading retail pharmacy.

Dignitaries from all levels of government were on hand September 28th to mark the official grand opening of the enormous CVS/pharmacy distribution center in the Town of Chemung, just north of Interstate Highway 86 near the Chemung-Tioga line.

The 751,000-square-foot facility, which opened for business in June, is responsible for providing merchandise to more than 100 CVS stores in the region. By the middle of next year, the distribution center will serve more than 350 stores.

More than 300 people will work full-time at the facility by the end of the year, and 600 full-time employees will eventually work there. That number does not include truck drivers.

“Our Chemung distribution center is supporting the expanding distribution needs of our retail stores and is an important part of our company’s overall growth,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. “The 600 jobs we are creating here is part of our hiring effort for more than 5,000 positions around the country and across all areas of CVS Caremark’s business over the next 12 months.”

Officials lauded the project as one of the most important recent economic developments in the region. CVS considered 27 sites before deciding to build in Chemung.

“CVS could have built this anywhere,” Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said. When using a CVS store in New York state, “it will be good to know everything started right here.”

All the officials on hand touted the 600 jobs the facility will create, as well as the opportunity for more in the future.

“This is our prescription: Jobs,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “That’s just what the doctor ordered for the Southern Tier.”

Said U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning: “It is all about the jobs. New York state is open for business.”

The state-of-the-art facility cost $90 million to construct, and more than 90 New York-based businesses helped build it, according to the company.

The facility, which is expandable to more than a million square feet, is the largest industrial building in the state to be certified “Gold” by LEED, the nation’s preeminent green-building certification program.

There are 17 other CVS distribution centers in the country.

CVS is the largest pharmacy/health care provider in the country with 7,200 stores, Merlo said.

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