The people's voice of reason

Coca-Cola bottler to invest $330 million in Birmingham

Last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced that Coca-Cola Bottling Company United Inc. (UNITED) is investing an estimated $330 million to construct a new Birmingham Coca-Cola facility. The plant is expected to create up to 50 new jobs and ensures that the city will retain over 750 positions.

"For over 120 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has been a stand-out member of Birmingham's business community, so it's wonderful to see this world-class company make a major investment to build a new headquarters facility in the Magic City," Gov. Ivey said. "Coca-Cola UNITED's landmark growth project will create new jobs in its home base in Birmingham while also solidifying the company's foundation in the city for decades to come -and that's great news for all of Alabama."

In 2013, Coca-Cola UNITED purchased the land of the former Stockham Valves and Fittings site on 40th Street North, about two miles from its current location off East Lake Boulevard.

Mike Suco is the President and CEO of Coca-Cola UNITED.

"Our story began more than 120 years ago in Birmingham, and with this investment, our story will continue for years to come," Suco said. "Today's announcement reflects our long-standing commitment to our associates, our customers and the communities we have the honor of serving. It is through our strong relationships that we have arrived at this defining moment in our company's history, and we are grateful to our local and state officials and partners for their support in our continued success."

Economic developer Dr. Nicole Jones Wadsworth told the Alabama Gazette, "Coca-Cola UNITED's latest expansion will include a new 150,000 sq ft office complex and 350,000 sq ft high-tech warehouse facility. The new construction, a catalyst for area redevelopment, will be in prominent view on the high-traffic Interstate 20/59 corridor. The strategic location, visibility, and investment in local growth is a testament to the long-standing relationship between Coca-Cola UNITED, the Birmingham area, and the State of Alabama."

Conrad W Rafield III is the Chairman of the Board of Coca-Cola UNITED.

"This project has been years in making and we are excited to build a campus that will reflect our foundational core values of Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect," Rafield said. "We are incredibly proud of the relationships and partnerships we've forged in the greater Birmingham area through the years, and we remain committed to being good stewards and neighbors in the communities where we live and work."

The new facility will be highly visible to traffic along Interstate 20/59 and will house the Birmingham Coca-Cola sales center as well as Coca-Cola UNITED's Corporate, Central Region and North Alabama Division headquarters.

Ellen McNair is the Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

"UNITED's impressive new facility will become an eye-catching gateway to Birmingham and transmit the powerful signal that the Magic City is a great place to do business," McNair said. "Launching this project, in this particular location, perfectly exemplifies how this world-class company is giving back to its community."

The company has operated out of its current facility at 4600 East Lake Blvd. since 1979.

"Coca-Cola Bottling Company United is the definition of a legacy business in Birmingham," said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. "Having been in our community and a part of its growth for more than 100 years gives me great pleasure to see the city play a significant role for future generations. This investment is great for Birmingham, our region and our state."

Jimmie Stephens is the President of the Jefferson County Commission.

"Jefferson County is pleased to be a contributing partner to this move and expansion," added Commissioner Stephens. "We are proud of the accomplishments and truly appreciate the confidence that Coke United has in our great city and county. This investment was brought to fruition by working through our governmental partners and the great leadership at Coke United. Together, we make great things happen."

"Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED Inc.'s commitment to providing livable wage jobs, economic and community development opportunities in Jefferson County, the city of Birmingham and the region has been nothing short of amazing," said Commissioner Lashunda Scales, whose district houses the company. "When you think of a holistic community partner, I immediately think of Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED Inc."

Ground breaking on the new site is planned for this month.


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