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Thursday, 18 July 2013 22:00

Gordon Food Service plans Wyoming freezer facility

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GRAND RAPIDS -- Hot off the completion of a new corporate headquarters last year, food distribution giant Gordon Food Service has plans for a new expansion in the city of Wyoming.

The company has proposed building a new 94,000-square-foot freezer facility at 651 50th Street, near the company’s distribution center on Clay Avenue.

Notably, the plans for the new freezer facility call for the structure to be 67 feet high on property that borders the northbound lanes of the busy U.S. 131 highway, just north of the 54th Street exit.

Andy Maier, marketing communications manager for Gordon Food Service, told MiBiz in an email that the new facility aims to bring about needed additional space for the company’s line of frozen food products.

Maier said construction of the freezer facility is scheduled to begin this summer, and the company is anticipating it being open by spring of 2014.

Ada-based Dan Vos Construction Co. is the design/build contractor handling the project.

Maier declined to provide the cost of the facility, citing the firm’s status as a privately-held company. Sources estimate the facility will cost about $10 million.

Gordon Food Service anticipates adding 20 to 25 new jobs incrementally over the next six years as the freezer facility gets up and running, Maier said.

The Wyoming City Council at a July meeting unanimously approved vacating a 422-foot section of 50th Street west of Clay Avenue to make way for the facility. The proposed freezer building will be built on a section of land that is currently part of the roadway. The company will build a new cul-de-sac on the shortened section of 50th Street, according to the plans.

John DeBlaay, project executive for Dan Vos Construction, said that vacating a roadway is not uncommon for these kinds of industrial projects. However, he did indicate that the facility’s use as a freezer will lead to some increased utility connection costs and possible challenges with water mains.

The submitted building plans indicate that the warehouse facility will be 67 feet in height to accommodate refrigeration units. To build a structure at that height, the company received a variance from the city’s zoning board of appeals. The maximum allowable height for buildings on property zoned I-2 industrial in the city is 45 feet.

“We believe Gordon’s freezer will provide a needed facility for Wyoming’s largest employer,” Wyoming City Planner Tim Cochran said at a June Planning Commission hearing. “This will contribute to the city’s economic strength. Additional employment will occur at the facility, and also the short-term employment from the construction. The proposed freezer (also) conforms to the city’s sustainability principles.”

In a memo to the City Council, Cochran said the Gordon Food Service project “will allow for the redevelopment of several underutilized industrial properties” and “will infuse vital investment” into the surrounding community.

Gordon Food Service is North America’s largest family-owned food service distributor with approximately 12,000 employees. The company reported revenues of $7.7 billion in a 2011 report in Forbes.

Read 6291 times Last modified on Friday, 19 July 2013 14:51