Northland’s new CVS distribution facility is staffing up, with target of 300 jobs

This Jan. 26, 2018, file photo shows a CVS Pharmacy sign.
This Jan. 26, 2018, file photo shows a CVS Pharmacy sign. AP

A new CVS Health facility expected to add 300 or more jobs in Kansas City’s distribution and logistics sector is staffing up ahead of a ribbon cutting Friday.

The 762,000-square-foot facility in Kansas City, North — announced in late 2016 — will support more than 500 CVS Pharmacy stores throughout the Midwest, according to the company.

Alicia Stephens, executive director of the Platte County Economic Development Council, estimated that the company had hired about 50 employees and was hoping to bring on that many again soon. She said the goal is to have about 160 employees on site by the end of 2018.

“There are some employer losses in the region and this just provides one opportunity for those workers to stay in the region,” Stephens said citing the planned closure of the Harley-Davidson Inc. assembly plant.

Stephens said some Harley workers have applied at CVS and the skill sets for the two jobs overlapped.

She anticipated the facility would start moving products in October.

“As you can imagine, a facility that big — they have a lot of systems they have to put in place and test and make sure they’re operational,” Stephens said.

Port KC approved tax incentives for the CVS facility, including a 22-year property tax exemption and a 10-year exemption on equipment. Port KC vice president and general counsel Mark Coulter said the property wasn’t exempted for the first two years while the project was under construction. For 10 years CVS will get a 90 percent property tax exemption, and for 10 years it will get a 50 percent exemption.

Coulter said the project was an important one for Kansas City to land because of the 300-plus jobs.

“This was a big jobs attraction deal, and I think that’s reflected in the way everybody came together and we put together this package that was able to land a Fortune 10 company,” Coulter said.

Stephens said the state also offered incentives based on the number of employees the facility will have.

Kansas City, Stephens said, had the mix of highway, rail and air transportation and existing logistics industry to support CVS.

“I would say we are absolutely positioned to be a logistics hub,” Stephens said.