More space. Less filling.
The longtime coastal distributor of Miller Lite and numerous other beers is moving to a bigger warehouse that will nearly double its storage space.
Lee Distributors LLC plans to relocate to Marymeade Drive in Summerville from Hanahan around Sept. 1, according to owner Reyes Holdings.
The companies cited frothy growth in Lee's beverage delivery business.
"Mostly, we need to move to a bigger facility," spokeswoman Molly Reilly said Tuesday. "We're more than doubling the space and the cold storage area. Also, the new facility is all temperature-controlled. Those are all things we were looking for."
She said Lee Distributors has added about 400 distinct varieties of mainstream and craft beers to its lineup in the last couple of years, and others are on the way.
"That's more product and more brands, so we wanted the space to manage all those brands," Reilly said.
Also, she said, the 162,000-square-foot Summerville warehouse is in a more convenient location for more than half of Lee's employees.
Renovations are already underway, she said. Reilly said the project will include the addition of upscale spaces for client meetings and training classes, as well as an onsite fitness center.
The move will mark the third for the distributorship, which was delivering Schlitz beer when Henry J. Lee purchased the business in 1961 under a different name.
The company moved from East Bay Street in Charleston to North Rhett Avenue in Hanahan in 1979. It later added a warehouse in Beaufort.
Lee's family sold the company to Chicago-based Reyes Holdings in 2006.
The South Carolina distributorship delivers about 5 million cases of beer a year for brewers that include Miller, Molson Coors, Pabst and Yuengling, according to its owner's website. It serves about 2,000 accounts along the state's southern coast and seven inland counties.
Lee's future Berkeley County headquarters was built as a warehouse for retailer Belk in 1997.
The building recently sold for $8.75 million, according to Hagood Morrison, a principal with the Charleston office of the real estate firm Colliers International.
The buyer was Lone Oak South Carolina LLC, an affiliate of Reyes Holdings, county land records show. The seller was associated with Charlotte-based investment firm Childress Klein Properties.
Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.
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