Americold, Atlanta, broke ground for a new facility at its Rochelle, Ill., campus, adding a 15.5 million-cubic-foot automated unit.

The Rochelle campus is currently home to two conventional warehouse facilities. This addition, being built on Americold-owned land, will bring an additional 57,600 pallet positions and extensive automation capabilities, thus boosting available capacity for Americold’s customers in the Chicago market.

“Working with some of our key partners, we identified the opportunity to update and expand our campus just an hour east of Chicagoland, and to offer both automated and conventional storage and distribution options,” says Fred Boehler, president and CEO. “Our customers challenged us for a solution, and I’m proud that today marks the first day of making that solution a reality.”

The additional facility will be a 140-foot-high series of rooms, housing an automated storage and retrieval system attached to a conventional warehouse format for maximum flexibility. The combined campus footprint will amass more than 33.5 million cubic feet and contain more than 115,000 pallet positions.

The construction phase of the project has already begun with ground clearing. The facility is expected to open December 2018, and will attain up to 70 associates in full- and part-time positions.