US Foods, Rosemont, Ill., announced plans to expand its Fife, Wash., distribution center. The expansion project kicks off in late January 2016 and will nearly double the size of its current facility, allowing for an expanded customer base and to better serve chefs, restaurateurs and foodservice operators throughout the Seattle area.

"As the vibrant culinary market in Seattle continues to grow, US Foods is positioning itself to continue to be a significant player in the area," says Matt Reynolds, president, Mountain West area, US Foods. "Once complete, our expanded facility will allow us to double our capacity for product storage, making it easier for us to bring our innovative, on-trend products and tried-and-true favorites to more customers throughout Seattle and beyond."

US Foods has operated out of this 123,000-square-foot facility since 1998. Design-build firm ESI Group USA, Hartland, Wis., will increase the size of the plant to more than 216,000 square feet.

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to once again work with US Foods,” says Brad Barke, ESI’s president. “Now that the merger with Sysco has been abandoned, we look forward to continuing our 20-plus year relationship.”

Among the many improvements to the distribution center will be a state-of-the-art kitchen and training center for product demonstrations and customer ideation, as well as a technology center where customers can learn about the company's mobile apps and web-based business solutions.

The expansion project will also incorporate many energy and environmental improvements, such as a highly efficient cascade refrigeration system and energy saving, high-output fluorescent and LED lighting.

The project is expected to be complete in fall 2016.