Nor-Am Cold Storage, Le Mars, Iowa, purchased the former 478,000-square-foot Affiliated Foods distribution center in Elwood, Kan., from Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan.
“We are fortunate to be a part of a growing industry. The demand for both temperature-controlled and dry warehouse space is higher than ever,” says Justin Brandt, general manager of Nor-Am in Saint Joseph, Kansas City and Elwood. “We’ll use this space to meet the demand of our current customers as well as to attract new customers to the area. Customer demand is pushing us to aggressively expand our footprint.”
“We plan to add up to 50 jobs in the Elwood facility in the first 12 months, with a 5-year projection of roughly 90 jobs,” says Ashley Albers, human resources manager. “While we may move some of our team members from our current buildings to the new facility, it is because we need their experience. The headcount, the jobs and the work in St. Joe isn’t going anywhere.”
Nor-Am plans to add warehouse, maintenance, management and value-added teams such as kitting and repackaging.
“We are a company that prides itself on promoting from within; this project opens up a lot of opportunities for our current employees to be promoted as well as allowing us to recruit top talent for our management team,” says Albers.
The building will undergo $2-3 million worth of upgrades and renovations.
“We try to partner with local businesses and contractors whenever possible. We were able to utilize local finance and broker services for the purchase, and will use as many local contractors as possible to clean and update the building for our use,” adds Scott Albers, vice president of operations.