JD Sports has ended more than a year of speculation by confirming it will move to a purpose-built 616,000 sq ft distribution centre on Wilson Bowden Developments' Kingsway Business Park in Rochdale.
The warehouse will be one of the largest developed in the North West in the past 10 years. Detailed planning consent for the development was granted in January 2009.
JD Sports paid an undisclosed sum to acquire the freehold of the site from Wilson Bowden.
The retailer's distribution operation is currently based at Segro's Heywood Distribution Park. JD Sports said the move will help secure existing jobs in the borough, as well as offering the potential of significant new job opportunities. Work is expected to start on site within the next couple of months.
Roger Ellis, chief executive of Rochdale Council, said: "This deal is good news for Kingsway Business Park and for the whole of Rochdale Borough. Kingsway has enabled the borough to retain an important company and offer them an attractive location to grow their business."
John Hudson, chief executive of Rochdale Development Agency, said: "This represents one of the largest property deals in the North West this year and underlines the attractions of Kingsway Business Parkas a destination of choice for quality businesses.
Kingsway Business Park totals 420 acres next to Junction 21 of the M62. As well as industrial space, future plans include a dedicated stop on the new Metrolink, shops, offices and a hotel.
The park has been part-funded by the North West Development Agency. The joint agents are p3 Property Consultants and Jones Lang LaSalle.