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Rain didn’t damper the excitement at the Kroger groundbreaking in Forest Park, Georgia Tuesday. State and local dignitaries attended the ceremony celebrating the 1.2 million SF distribution facility set to open on the former Fort Gillem Army base in the fall of 2015.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said, “It is good to see this property being able to be used for other purposes, and I know that many of you have waited for this first breakthrough event.”
The new facility is expected to create 120 new jobs. Forest Park Mayor David Lockhart referenced the potential increased tax base. “We look forward to realizing the full potential that Forest Park holds,” he said.
Primus Builders is providing architecture, engineering and construction management services on the landmark project. Site work is well underway on the massive 253-acre site.
An emphasis on sustainability is evident. Concrete, metal and brick from recently demolished buildings are ready to be ground or otherwise treated and re-used on the site. “Recycling these products not only reduces waste, it offers Kroger significant reduction in material cost,” said John Navarro, Primus’s on-site project executive.
Navarro also commented on Primus’s commitment to safety. “We’re incorporating a badging system that ensures every person that enters the site has completed mandatory safety training. No badge, no entry.” The badges also identify specific certifications that require special training. Superintendents will know immediately if a worker in the field is certified to conduct specific work. “Safety on a project this size requires extra-special attention to detail. Badging helps us achieve that.”
The new facility will service existing operations in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Kroger Atlanta Division President Bruce Lucia commented, “We can get to our stores quickly from here. We have such great road systems in Georgia today.”
“Primus is eager to help Kroger achieve its goals for speed-to-market,” said Rich O’Connell, President of Primus Builders. “We have partnered with Kroger on several projects. This one is the most technologically advanced for Kroger and for us. We are excited to be a part of it.”