Coca-Cola United To Open New Facility In Birmingham, AL, Creating 50 Jobs

The popular beverage distributor to invest $330 million in multifaceted facility, which currently employs 750.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc. has announced an estimated $330 million investment in a new, multifaceted Birmingham Coca-Cola facility in the Kingston community that is expected to create up to 50 new jobs and retain more than 750 jobs in the Magic City.

Architectural rendition of Coca-Cola UNITED’s new facility in Birmingham, AL. (Photo: Coca-Cola United)

Coca-Cola UNITED in 2013 purchased the land of the former Stockham Valves and Fittings site on 40th Street North, about two miles from its current location off East Lake Boulevard, in the hopes of one day building a new facility. Those hopes have since become a highly anticipated and welcome reality, said Coca-Cola UNITED President and CEO Mike Suco.

Architectural rendition of the new Coca-Cola UNITED facility in Birmingham, AL, seen from a bird’s eye view. (Photo: Coca-Cola United)

“Our story began more than 120 years ago in Birmingham, and with this investment, our story will continue for years to come,” Suco said. “Today’s announcement reflects our long-standing commitment to our associates, our customers and the communities we have the honor of serving. It is through our strong relationships that we have arrived at this defining moment in our company’s history, and we are grateful to our local and state officials and partners for their support in our continued success.”

Coca-Cola UNITED Board of Directors Chairman Conrad W. Rafield III added that the investment is a testament to the company’s associates and the community at large. The new facility will serve Jefferson County and 11 other surrounding counties.

“This project has been years in making and we are excited to build a campus that will reflect our foundational core values of Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect,” Rafield said. “We are incredibly proud of the relationships and partnerships we’ve forged in the greater Birmingham area through the years, and we remain committed to being good stewards and neighbors in the communities where we live and work.”

Several local and state officials celebrated the news following the announcement:

“For over 120 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has been a stand-out member of Birmingham’s business community, so it’s wonderful to see this world-class company make a major investment to build a new headquarters facility in the Magic City,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said. “Coca-Cola UNITED’s landmark growth project will create new jobs in its home base in Birmingham while also solidifying the company’s foundation in the city for decades to come – and that’s great news for all of Alabama.”

“Coca-Cola Bottling Company United is the definition of a legacy business in Birmingham. Having been in our community and a part of its growth for more than 100 years gives me great pleasure to see the city play a significant role for future generations. This investment is great for Birmingham, our region and our state,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.

“Jefferson County is pleased to be a contributing partner to this move and expansion,” said Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens. “We are proud of the accomplishments and truly appreciate the confidence that Coke United has in our great city and county. This investment was brought to fruition by working through our governmental partners and the great leadership at Coke United. Together, we make great things happen.”

The new facility will include a 150,000-square-foot multi-floor office complex and a 300,000-square-foot warehouse featuring the leading-edge Vertique case picking system that is among the most advanced in the beverage industry. Coca-Cola UNITED has invested in Vertique technology at six of its locations, including Mobile in 2021.

“We have seen the benefits first-hand of Vertique in our other facilities,” Suco said. “The system improves the process of fulfilling customer orders and puts less stress on our associates.”

The new facility, which along with its famous trademark will be highly visible to traffic along Interstate 20/59, will house the Birmingham Coca-Cola sales center as well as Coca-Cola UNITED’s Corporate, Central Region and North Alabama Division headquarters – the latter of which supports the company’s operations in Carbon Hill, Cullman, Florence, Oxford and Tuscaloosa.

The company’s Classic Food and Vending arm, customer solutions center and services department will also be based in the new facility.

The iconic Coca-Cola brand made its way to the Magic City in 1902 when businessman and community philanthropist Crawford Johnson Sr. opened Birmingham Coca-Cola with a staff consisting of one associate and a mule named Bird. Johnson and his family went on to open and acquire several bottling franchises throughout the Southeast, and in 1974, the company was incorporated as Coca-Cola UNITED. The company has operated out of its current facility at 4600 East Lake Blvd. since 1979.

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