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Smart & Final rents Fontana distribution center

October 21, 2010 |  7:07 pm

Smart & Final Inc., a growing retail chain known for catering to small restaurant operators, has leased a 350,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Fontana.

The facility in Watson Commerce Center Fontana will serve the retailer’s Southern California stores, which include Smart & Final and Henry’s Farmers Markets. The 92-month lease is valued at about $11.5 million.Watson Land Company Smart  Final

The Fontana center “will enable us to improve our efficiency as we continue to expand our retail platform in the Southern California region,” said Tom Paolucci, director of Smart & Final Distribution.

The company plans to move into the new facility in November. The property sits on nearly 18 acres of land at 13055 S. Valley Blvd. The landlord is Carson-based industrial developer Watson Land Co.

Smart & Final, founded in Los Angeles in 1871, has evolved from a traditional “cash and carry” store to a hybrid serving both the wholesale and retail market for food, supplies and culinary equipment. It has 282 stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and northern Mexico.

-- Roger Vincent

Photo: Smart & Final’s new distribution center in Fontana.  Credit: Watson Land Co.