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Coca-Cola Moving Closer to $338 Million Birmingham Campus

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Coca-Cola United CEO Mike Suco (Provided)

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Coca-Cola United continues to move closer to building a new $338 million campus that will be a gateway to Birmingham, city and company officials said Tuesday.

“It’s going to be phenomenal,” Coca-Cola CEO Mike Suco said after the City Council approved incentives for the project. “It will welcome everybody to Birmingham. You’ll love it.”

The City of Birmingham approved a development agreement with Coca-Cola Bottling Company United Central LLC, that will provide incentives for the Coca-Cola keeping it’s new headquarters in Birmingham on the site of the former Stockham Valve property.

“You’re going to be able to see Coca-Cola from the interstate and you’re going to be able to see it from the sky,” said Cornell Wesely, director of innovation and economic opportunity for the City of Birmingham.

He said the new Coca-Cola headquarters will be highly visible from the Interstate 20/59 east of downtown and also visible to air traffic flying into Birmingham.

Wesley said Coca-Cola’s planned investment of $338 million in a future headquarters ranks as one of the largest corporate investments in the city’s history. The new corporate headquarters will include  will include a sales, distribution, and warehousing center, region division and offices, and a customer call center.

“We are excited about them remaining in our community, and what we’re most excited about is the new jobs that it will create,” said Wesley, “We hope they will remain here another 100+ years.”

The city’s incentives including spending up to $400,000 for water infrastructure improvements and construction of an access road to the site.

Coca-Cola United has owned the former Stockham Valve Property for more than a decade. “We’ve had a vision for 10 years to do this on this site,” Suco said.

“It’s a three year project,” Suco said. “From the time we break ground it will take us about three years.”

Bulldozers in March cleared 105 acres south of the Tallapoosa Street exit, moving dirt and knocking down trees on a highly visible site east of W.C. Patton Park along Interstate 20/59.

Travelers headed east out of downtown Birmingham can’t miss all the activity.

The land is owned by Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United Central LLC in Birmingham, which currently operates from a distribution center at 4600 East Lake Boulevard overlooking the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport.

A formal announcement will be made after Jefferson County Commission addresses it’s planned incentives for the project next week, said Linda Sewell, spokesperson for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United-Central.

The property between 40th and 42nd street North at 4000 Richard Arrington Boulevard (formerly 10th Ave. North) was from 1914-1997 the campus of Stockham Valve and Fittings.

The company, founded in Birmingham in 1903, became one of the nation’s largest producers of valves and pipe fittings for heavy industry.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United has continued to upgrade its facilities on East Lake Boulevard but has run out of room there, Sewell said.

As part of Birmingham’s incentives, the city will abate non-educational, construction-related sales and use taxes for 10 years and and non-educational ad valorem taxes for 15 years, Wesley said.

The company was established in 1902 and has grown into the third largest  Coca-Cola Bottling Company in the country and the second largest privately owned company in Alabama, Suco said. He said the company will add up to 50 new jobs at the facility and will offer certified training to multiple positions. The facility will total about 500,000 – 150,000 square feet for the new headquarters office,  300,000 square feet for the new warehouse and an additional 50,000 square feet for the auxiliary buildings.