Coke looks at $62 million expansion in Chattanooga

Coke looks at $62 million expansion in Chattanooga

March 4th, 2014 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Tony Brown uprights an overturned Mello Yello can on one of the production lines at the Coca Cola Bottling Company in this 2004 file photo.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United officials announced today 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 Coke 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 Co., in a statement. "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."

The company is looking at the former Olan Mills facility off Highway 153.

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 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."

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.