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The Kroger Co. is planning a major expansion of its facilities in Tolleson, Ariz., which would begin with a 10- to 12-story, 117,000-square-foot addition to the perishable warehouse.
The project’s timetable depends on the economy, but a Kroger official said the company would like to start the initial expansion as soon as possible, which could mean design begins next year, the Arizona Republic reported.
There are seven potential expansions that Kroger is considering at the facility, in a suburb of Phoenix. Cincinnati-based Kroger, which owns the local Fry’s grocery chain, would begin with the expansion and automation of its existing perishable warehouse.
Mike McJunkins, Kroger’s senior construction manager, told the Republic that the cost of the expansion isn’t known yet. “What we’re really trying to do is get our long-term planning done," he said, noting that the facility serves numerous stores within Arizona and outside the state.
Kroger wanted to buy the property south of its site for the expansion, but with that tract unavailable, the grocer will need to expand vertically, to a maximum height of 120 feet. Plans call for wrapping the expansion around the south side of the warehouse to form an L-shaped expansion, the Republic reported.
Kroger officials say it is too early to determine how automating the warehouse will affect jobs. About six years ago, Kroger began the conversion of its Tolleson dry warehouse, which is now fully automated.