Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to announce the completion of a 30,000-s.f. expansion project of its corporate offices, according to a Unified Government news release.
AWG, located at 5000 Kansas Ave. in Kansas City, Kan., is the nation’s second largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative, the sixth largest cooperative in total, and the second largest privately held company in the Kansas City region.
“AWG’s investment is another testament of their ongoing commitment to our community and partnership with this governing body,” says Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon. “This commitment has contributed to our efforts to growing the economy by creating an additional property tax base and bringing more job opportunities into Wyandotte County.”
The newly expanded complex houses more than 1,000 employees, which includes the AWG corporate office, the Kansas City distribution center and Valu Merchandisers, a general merchandise and healthcare subsidiary.
The company was named among the top 100 fastest growing companies in the metro area for the fourth consecutive year by Ingram’s magazine, and supports retail outlets in 24 states from New Mexico to Florida.
In addition to the Kansas City location, AWG currently operates facilities in seven other locations including Ft. Scott, Kan.; Springfield, Mo.; Oklahoma City; Memphis; and Southaven, Miss. More than 16,000 truckloads of product pass through the distribution center every week. Annual payroll for this location puts nearly $70 million into the local economy.
In January, a new distribution center will open just outside New Orleans.
The new project is projected to produce an additional $700,000 a year in property tax revenue during the 10-year abatement period. The new development project qualifies under the Unified Government’s Tax Abatement Policy and a 10-year PILOT schedule. The UG will issue approximately $6.5 million in industrial revenue bonds for the project, which will abide by prevailing wage and local, minority and women owned business requirements.
AWG provides more than 3,000 retail stores, many which are independent, family-owned businesses, with a complete assortment of grocery, fresh meat, fresh produce, specialty foods, healthcare and general merchandise items. This is the fourth company, in a two-year period, to announce major expansion efforts and investment opportunities in Kansas City, Kan.
AWG’s presence in Kansas City has been continually growing since 1924, when 20 Kansas City area family grocers met to buy Folgers coffee in full truckloads, just like the chains.
In 1972, AWG moved the headquarters across the river to a new 47-acre site at 5000 Kansas Ave. A new 565,000-s.f. distribution center was completed the following year, which included a 40,000-s.f. administration building.
Over the course of the next 20 years, the distribution center was expanded multiple times. In 1992, two floors were constructed above the east side of the existing administration building, bringing total square footage to nearly 90,000 s.f., and creating an attractive, contemporary and new three-story building.
In 2012, an additional 30,000 s.f. was added to support the company operations. Local companies and local contractors were used, with a special emphasis on seeking out minority-owned businesses to complete the project.
AWG’s revenue has increased every year for the past 12 years and will reach $8 billion this year.