Business Report: Coca-Cola Bottling Recommits To Chattanooga

By Ed Felton
From the May/June 2014 issue

Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a division of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, has finalized plans to build a new distribution and sales facility in Hamilton County, TN. The company plans to invest $62 million and create 43 new jobs.

Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a division of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, has finalized plans to build a new, state-of-the-art distribution and sales facility in Hamilton County. (Photo:

According to Darren Hodges, division vice president for Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the company has purchased the former Olan Mills site located on West Shepherd Road near Highway 153. The company plans to demolish the existing structures on the site and build a new 305,000 square foot distribution and sales facility with the goal of starting operations at the new facility in 16-18 months.

“Coca-Cola Bottling began in Chattanooga 115 years ago,” Hodges said. “We’re proud to reaffirm our commitment to this community by establishing a new distribution facility and regional offices.”

Chattanooga Coca-Cola currently employs approximately 484 people at its location on Amnicola Highway, which will continue to hold the bottling operation. The distribution facility and regional offices will be transferred to the new location. By establishing this new facility in Hamilton County, the company will retain 270 jobs that would have been moved elsewhere. Chattanooga Coca-Cola will also add 43 new jobs at the new location.

The announcement followed months of speculation about whether Coke would choose Chattanooga or go out of state. The county industrial development board approved a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for Coke, should company officials decide to build in Chattanooga.


Gov. Bill Haslam and TN Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Heritage Glass officials recently announced the company will invest $15.8 million to begin new manufacturing in Kingsport, Tenn. Through this investment, Heritage Glass will create 237 new jobs in Sullivan County.

“I want to thank Heritage Glass for investing in our state and Sullivan County, and I appreciate the high quality jobs this will create for Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “The manufacturing sector is a critical part of the state’s strong economy, and this announcement helps us toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Heritage Glass appreciates the encouragement and support the state of Tennessee, the city of Kingsport, and NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership are providing for this project,” Heritage Glass President Eric Kerney said. “It will quickly bring 120 jobs to the area, and even more jobs after future expansions. The business-friendly approach of Tennessee makes us proud to establish operations here.”

Heritage Glass plans to service, repair and modify existing equipment at the facility to manufacture patterned glass to be shipped worldwide. Patterned glass is used for shower doors, solar panels, dividers and privacy applications such as bathrooms, doors, sidelights, conference rooms and churches.

Heritage Glass plans to hire 120 employees within ten weeks of opening and reach 237 employees at the facility within three years. The company anticipates production at their Kingsport facility will begin in early July 2014.

Mohawk Industries has announced the company will build a new ceramic tile production facility and distribution center in the Dickson County Industrial Park. With plans to open the tile manufacturing plant in the fourth quarter of 2015, the company will invest $180 million and create 320 jobs over the next four years.

“I want to welcome Mohawk to Tennessee and thank the company for its investment in Dickson County,” Gov. Haslam said. “Mohawk’s decision to build a new production facility and distribution center in Dickson is another example of the business friendly climate our state offers to companies around the world, and it reinforces our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

The 1.4 million-square-foot Dickson plant will increase Mohawk’s global ceramic tile production capacity to more than two billion square feet annually. The company’s products are widely used in residential and commercial construction and remodeling and are sold in North America through three primary distribution channels: home centers, independent distributors and company-operated service centers.

“As the U.S. economic recovery gains momentum, our ceramic business is well positioned for additional growth as a result of our innovative, stylish products,” Jeff Lorberbaum, chairman and CEO of Mohawk Industries, said. “We continue to invest in leading-edge facilities that improve our manufacturing efficiencies and create new product collections that reinforce our position as the preferred provider for thousands of customers.”