Los Angeles-based Emser Tile has opened its third North American distribution center in Suffolk, Va., which will service the growing East Coast and Midwest markets. The new 400,000-sq-ft distribution center, with the capacity to expand to 850,000 sq ft, will support Emser Tile’s long-term expansion plans, according to the company.

“Our growth in the East Coast and Midwest markets gave us an opportunity to build a state-of-the art distribution center to meet our customers’ needs through even better service,” said Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing for Emser Tile. “Emser Tile remains dedicated to being the design leader for today’s tile and natural stone, and is committed to efficiently providing these products to customers nationwide.”

To celebrate the opening, Emser Tile hosted a ribbon cutting with government representatives in attendance, including Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Todd Haymore, Delegate S. Chris Jones, Senator John Cosgrove, and Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson. John F. Reinhart, CEO and director of the Virginia Port Authority, also spoke at the opening.

“We are honored that Emser Tile chose the Commonwealth as its gateway to the East Coast market and the world,” said Governor McAuliffe. “With its close proximity to The Port of Virginia, the City of Suffolk is an ideal base for Emser’s distribution operation, and we are confident the company will benefit from the region’s workforce, infrastructure, and competitive business climate as it expands its product portfolio in the U.S. It’s exciting to see the new, 400,000-square-foot service center become a reality, and we thank Emser Tile for being part of our ongoing efforts to diversify and build the new Virginia economy.”

By basing operations in Suffolk, Emser Tile aims to become a strategic partner within the community. The company plans to hire and train distribution center employees through partnerships with local colleges and the community. Suffolk also offers unique highway infrastructure and proximity to The Port of Virginia to facilitate high-volume distribution.

“The Port of Virginia is looking forward to handling cargo for the Emser Tile distribution operation in Suffolk and helping the company establish its presence on the East Coast,” said Reinhart. “We welcome the opportunity to develop a partnership with this company by serving as its global gateway for trade.”

Emser Tile strategically chose to locate the distribution facility at CenterPoint Intermodal Center Suffolk. The 900-acre logistics center features direct access to The Port of Virginia, and is currently home to ACE Hardware, FRÍANT and Peet’s Coffee facilities.

For more information, visit www.emser.com.