Americold, a temperature-controlled supply chain firm based in Atlanta, is close to delivering a 14-story cold storage facility in Rochelle, Illinois. The 183,000-square-foot building, which will contain a series of temperature-controlled rooms and be serviced by an automated storage and retrieval system, should be operational by late 2018.
The new facility is co-located with a conventional freezer building and it will supplement existing 261,000-square-foot and 398,000-square-foot facilities that Americold has been operating in Rochelle since 1995. The combined footprint of the three facilities will be 115,000 pallet positions, double the capacity of the current conventional facilities. Americold currently employs approximately 130, and plans to add up to 70 positions at the Rochelle facility when expanded.
“Rochelle is proud to be home to another one of Americold’s automatic storage and retrieval system distribution centers,” said Jason Anderson, economic development director for the City of Rochelle.
The new facility makes use of unique construction; the warehouse racking and “room” skeleton acts as the support structure for the attachment of insulated panels and roofing structures. Construction of the racking and building systems is being managed by Griffco Design Build, an Atlanta-based building contractor. Altogether, the new facility contains 15.5 million cubic feet of automated capacity.
James Planey, a senior industrial broker with Lee & Associates of Illinois, notes the significance of Americold choosing Rochelle for such a specialized facility. A general-purpose warehouse in Rochelle would have alternative users over the years, even as a manufacturing plant, according to Planey. But with a 14-story high rise automated freezer building, he believes that Americold did their site selection homework and decided to expand in Rochelle for their long-term use.
The City of Rochelle has been a good partner to work with, according the Dan Lundquist, general manager, the Rochelle Municipal Utility. The city’s location and transportation system provides great access for both trucking and rail services. The nearby BNSF and Union Pacific railroads accommodate approximately 11–13 percent of inbound pallets, with the remainder supplied by trucking. All outbound product is transported by trucking. Americold is using Enterprise Zone economic development incentive benefits for the new facility which includes both property tax abatement and sales tax abatement on the cost of construction materials.