McKesson was in talks with Austin; Drug distributor opted to build in Clear Lake

Published 10:49 am Friday, March 13, 2015

Austin leaders confirmed McKesson Corp. as the Fortune 100 company that opted to build a $65 million distribution center in Clear Lake, Iowa, over Austin.

Despite missing out on the center, Development Corporation of Austin Executive Director John Garry said the experience showed Austin’s potential as a landing site for similar projects. “We can be competitive and good location for big projects,” he said.



Garry said the state of Minnesota takes the lead on such negotiations, and he said the process showcased Austin’s potential to state leaders.

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Officials with the San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. said the distribution center being built in northern Iowa will assume the operations of three warehouses around the Midwest.

Spokeswoman Kristin Hunter told the Des Moines Register that the major U.S. drug distributor will cease operations at centers in Little Canada, Minnesota; Omaha, Nebraska; and La Crosse, Wisconsin by May 2017. She said those operations will move to the distribution warehouse currently under construction in Clear Lake.

Hunter said about 230 employees will be affected by the move, and she added current McKesson employees interested in relocating to Clear Lake can apply for open positions.

The center in Clear Lake is expected to open by May 2016 and will employ 164 full-time workers.

Last year, the Register reported Austin offered a package worth $17 million to land the distribution center. Garry couldn’t confirm details about the package Austin offered McKesson, and he said the company didn’t provide specific details about why it chose Clear Lake over Austin.

“There was never really a definitive answer on that,” Garry said. “They were complimentary and impressed with Austin.”

McKesson ranked 15th on the Forbes Fortune 100 list.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.