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There were many reasons to celebrate at the Kroger site on Tuesday. First, as Vice President of Administration for Kroger’s Atlanta Division Jerry Moreton explained, “Kroger opened its Atlanta Division 80 years ago this year.” Since then, the division has grown to operate more than 185 stores in Georgia, eastern Alabama and South Carolina.
Second, and even more important to Primus, Kroger celebrated the grand opening of its new distribution complex in Forest Park, Georgia. Primus provided the full range of design and construction services on the 1,000,000 SF, state-of-the-art facility.
“Primus did a great job,” said Moreton. “It wasn’t an easy project.”
The new facility consolidates separate regional cold and dry storage facilities. Products will be delivered more efficiently to Kroger stores, just in time for the upcoming holiday season.
Moreton went on to describe Kroger’s commitment to reducing environmental impact. “There are many sustainable features on this project,” he said. “The demolition debris was repurposed; the building has LED lights; hydrogen fueling stations replace battery fueling stations; and energy efficient refrigeration designs were implemented.” The project is seeking LEED Silver certification.
Primus’s Chief Operating Officer John Navarro, who also served as construction manager on the project, impressed the crowd with statistics on the sheer size of the project.
“Primus demolished 3,000,000 SF of military warehousing facilities in just 50 days. We cleared, blasted, and graded 100,000 cubic yards of stone. The team erected 4,000 tons of steel and placed 3,000,000 SF of asphalt. Many days, there were more than 600 construction professionals on site at the same time. That’s a lot of people pulling in the same direction.”
Navarro pointed out that the safety was the number one focus every day. “We’re proud to report that there were no lost labor days for the duration of the project.”
Chairman of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners Jeffrey Turner pointed out the day’s weather. “When we were last here at the groundbreaking, it was raining,” he said. “Of course it’s raining today!”
In spite of near record rainfall, the facility opened just 410 days after property closing (58 days ahead of the original schedule).
Turner went on to say, “We are so grateful to Kroger for giving our citizens the opportunity for a better life. We are also grateful that Kroger is committed to our community and donates time and resources to strengthen it.”
City of Forrest Park Mayor David Lockhart commented, “Kroger has kicked off the first step for growth in the region. We’re looking forward to future growth thanks to this first step.”
Navarro summed the experience up by saying, “This isn’t our first project for Kroger, and it won’t be our last. We are true partners in the design-build process.”