Coca-Cola Bottling Company United (CCBCU) officials announced Tuesday the company is exploring the possibility of expanding by building a new, state-of-the-art distribution and sales facility in Hamilton County. If successful, Chattanooga Coca-Cola, the first franchised bottler of Coca-Cola in the world, will invest $62 million in the new facility and bring 43 new jobs to Chattanooga over the next year.
“Coca-Cola bottling began in Chattanooga. We’ve been here for 115 years and hope to grow here,” said Darren Hodges, division vice president for Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company. “But, we’re having a hard time finding industrial property in Hamilton County that can accommodate this expansion. We’re working through our final due diligence and hope to finalize our investment soon.”
At a recent Planning Commission meeting, Coca-Cola Bottling officials said they were working on a site at Shepherd Road and Highway 153, including the former Olan Mills property.
It was announced recently that the Chattanooga facility was getting a major expansion of its distribution territory.
The company plans to build a new 290,000-square foot distribution and sales facility. Other construction and improvements include ancillary automobile parking, roadways, truck docks, truck and trailer maneuvering and parking areas, stormwater management system, lighting and landscaping.
“This expansion project would keep Coca-Cola growing in Hamilton County and add family-wage jobs in our area,” said County Mayor Jim Coppinger. “Everyone in the community, from individuals to small businesses, benefits from added jobs and the resulting additional income circulating in our local economy.”
“Coca-Cola is a globally-recognized, incredibly valuable brand with its roots planted firmly in our community," said Mayor Andy Berke. "We are proud of the Coca-Cola legacy in Chattanooga and look forward to the possibility of a new distribution facility that will increase their presence in our area.”
CCBCU has 487 employees in Chattanooga. In order to accommodate the expansion, 203 employees will remain at the existing bottling facility while the distribution and regional offices will be transferred to a new location along with the additional 43 new jobs.
“Coca-Cola’s potential expansion in Chattanooga continues our city’s heritage as an ideal location for food and beverage manufacturers,” said Charles Wood, vice president of economic development at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “The new distribution facility would create jobs and redevelopment, demonstrating the importance of existing industry expansion in our community.”
Mr. Wood also thanked David DeVaney of Charter Real Estate Company. “DeVaney has contributed substantially to this effort both in terms of identifying sites and completing due diligence to finalize the project.”
CCBCU has three production facilities and 18 distribution sales centers in six Southeastern states. In the United States, it is the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products and is the largest privately-held Coca-Cola bottler employing a workforce of approximately 3,000 people.
Founded in 1902, CCBCU produces and distributes more than 400 beverages and 6 million cases each year.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., founded in 1902, is the third largest Coca-Cola bottling company in the United States headquartered in Birmingham. Coca-Cola United operates in the following locations: Augusta, Ga.; Baton Rouge, La.; Birmingham; Brunswick, Ga.; Chattanooga; Cullman, Ala.; Gulfport, Miss.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Lafayette, La.; Lake Charles, La.; McComb, Miss.; McRae, Ga.; Milledgeville, Ga.; Savannah, Ga.; Spartanburg, S.C.; Statesboro, Ga.; Waycross, Ga.; and West Alabama.
Coca-Cola United is engaged principally in the production, marketing and distribution of
Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Dasani water, POWERADE and other beverages under exclusive franchises from The Coca-Cola Company and other soft drink manufacturers.