Recycled Navy depot is a warehouse capital

By , Staff correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

During World War II the US Navy built a depot in Utah which would be safe from Japanese attack and located roughly between East and West Coast ports.

The potential for attack is gone, but the strategic location of the complex to the West remains. Today, with over 7 million square feet in 80 buildings on 735 acres, the Freeport Center is said to be the country's largest warehouse complex under one management.

Managed privately for two decades, this ''warehouse hub of the West'' serves dozens of manufacturers looking for a way station to store goods, from skis to washing machines.

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With no tax on inventory, Utah became a haven for warehousing. In the 1970s the warehouses became an anchor for the Salt Lake valley boom in light manufacturing as many companies converted warehouse space to factory operations. Located on major rail and Interstate highway routes, the center is served by 40 truck companies and uses 60,000 rail cars a year.

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