Kroger on Tuesday broke ground on its new distribution center at Gillem Logistics Center in Forest Park, Ga. Gov. Nathan Deal led the ceremony.
“The 120 new jobs and more than $175 million in investment that Kroger will bring will go a long way toward helping those living in and around Forest Park,” Deal said. “The transportation and logistics network that Georgia possesses will help Kroger better meet the needs of its customers throughout the Southeast. I’m thrilled that this property at Fort Gillem will continue its legacy of supporting economic development in its new capacity and look forward to further development.”
An opening date has yet to be set for the state-of-the-art distribution center located on the nearly 1,000-acre Fort Gillem property, a former U.S. Army base. The 1 million-s.f. facility, which will service existing operations in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, will invest more than $175 million over the next five years. The 120 new jobs at the Forest Park facility will include warehouse, security, transportation management and other maintenance positions.
“It has such great access to all the expressways. We can get to our stores quickly from here. We have such great road systems in Georgia today, but I’m excited because my parents and I used to shop on this base in the ’70s,” said Kroger Atlanta Division President Bruce Lucia.
Added Forest Park Mayor David Lockhart, “By benefiting commerce in Forest Park, it’s not a benefit simply to a faceless, fictitious corporation. It has impact on real people, it is real jobs, it is real revenue for the City of Forest Park. It allows us the extra revenue. It is projected that we can perhaps double Forest Park’s tax base, we can lower the marginal tax rate on our existing businesses and we can still bring in even more revenue to provide better services than we are already providing.”
The City of Forest Park assisted Kroger with the new facility. The Fort Gillem property was officially transferred from the Department of Defense to the City for this project. Forest Park partnered with master developer Forest Park/Fort Gillem Implementation Local Redevelopment Authority to redevelop the former army base into Gillem Logistics Center.
“Kroger is excited to close on 253 acres of property to build a new state of the art distribution center,” said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “The…facility will improve efficiencies, help the economy in the communities we serve and deliver products to our stores much more quickly. We thank Gov. Deal, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Forest Park Mayor Lockhart and the city of Forest Park for supporting Kroger with this project.”
Kroger has a significant presence throughout Georgia and currently employs more than 24,000 Georgians. The company’s existing operations include two food manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and numerous retail locations in Georgia.
Charlie Moseley, senior project manager on the logistics, energy, agribusiness and food team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, assisted the company on behalf of the state.
In the feature photo above: Kroger’s Bruce Lucia, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Forest Park Mayor David Lockhart.