American Eagle Outfitters is preparing to double the size of its distribution center in Ottawa and add 300 jobs in five years.
The company confirmed in late March that it would spend at least $55 million to add 540,000 square feet to the existing center at 1301 Davis Ave., bringing the complex's total size to about 1 million square feet. American Eagle plans to have the project completed in about a year.
After considering potential sites nationwide, the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company settled on expanding in Ottawa because of the center's strength and access to Interstate 35.
"We have great logistics and infrastructure here," said Rick Stukus, Lawrence, senior director for operations and projects at American Eagle.
Ottawa and Franklin County officials have granted a 10-year, 100 percent abatement on property taxes for the project, he said. The company also intends to take advantage of tax credits and training grants offered by the state of Kansas.
American Eagle plans to hire 190 employees by April 2008, Stukus said. Hiring is scheduled to begin in June.