UPDATED: Dillard's Distribution Center in Maumelle to Employ 400

A $40 million investment by Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock will renovate and reopen the former Target Corp. distribution center in Maumelle and employ 400 people, a source close to the deal tells ArkansasBusiness.com.

On Monday, the Maumelle City Council approved a 30-year, $42 million bond issue to purchase and renovate the 852,000-SF building at 600 Carnahan Drive for The Higbee Co., which is owned by Dillard's. The Pulaski County Quorum Court is scheduled to discuss a resolution related to the matter (PDF) at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday.

A news conference announcing the deal and the new jobs is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Jess Odom Community Center in Maumelle. Gov. Mike Beebe and local and city leaders are scheduled to attend.

Target closed the distribution center in 2009, part of a companywide effort to cut costs. At the time, the distribution center employed 500 people.

Maumelle's bond issue will allow the city of purchase the property and building from Target and lease it to Dillard's.

As of Jan. 30, Dillard's had six distribution centers, including a 400,000-SF center in Mabelvale. Other centers were in Gilbert, Ariz.; Valdosta, Ga.; Olathe, Kan.; Salisbury, N.C.; and Fort Worth, Texas. In all, it had about 2.6 million-SF of distribution space.

Publicly traded department store chain Dillard's (NYSE: DDS) has been quietly preparing the deal through the Higbee name. Dillard's purchased the Higbee department store chain in 1989. Higbee's had a dozen department stores in Ohio that were later rebranded as Dillard's stores.