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The Vitamin Shoppe to open distribution center in Ashland

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The Vitamin Shoppe Inc., a retailer and direct marketer of nutritional products, will open a distribution center in Ashland, creating 174 jobs.

The company will lease a 311,730-square-foot, build-to-suit building that will be constructed by Johnson Development. New York-city based REIT CapLease Inc. has acquired a 43-acre site and has agreed to work with Johnson Development on the project, which represents a total investment of about $39.5 million. Construction will start immediately and is expected to be complete during the second quarter of 2013.

“The Vitamin Shoppe continues to expand its storefronts across the U.S., and Virginia provides the perfect mid-Atlantic market reach to serve the company’s growing customer base,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

McDonnell approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Hanover County with the project.

The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment, training and retraining activities.

When the distribution center opens, The Vitamin Shoppe will become one of the largest employers in Ashland, according to Mayor Faye Prichard. The town had a population of 7,225 in 2010.

Based in North Bergen, N.J., The Vitamin Shoppe sells vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, herbs, and health and beauty aids. The company has 550 stores.

Virginia competed against North Carolina for the project

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