As we wrote in our January magazine story about cold storage and ports, ALDI is building a distribution center near the Port of Mobile, in Loxley, Alabama. That facility has officially broken ground, and will be overseen by design-build firm A M King.
A M King has partnered with ALDI to provide property consulting, design, and construction of ALDI’s new facility in Loxley. The 570,660-square-foot divisional headquarters and distribution center will service more than 100 stores in southern Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and the Florida panhandle, which will mark the company’s presence in 38 states.
The grocery retailer, which opened its 2,000th store this past summer, is in the midst of a new wave of expansion that includes further development along the Gulf Coast. ALDI has invested more than $5 billion in a major national growth campaign over the last several years and increased its selection of produce, meats and organic options. The company has also ramped up its eCommerce offering with Curbside Grocery Pickup, now available at 700 stores, and delivery in more than 10,000 ZIP codes, all without compromising its commitment to low prices.
ALDI currently operates more than 180 stores in Alabama and Florida, with four regional headquarters and distribution centers in the area. Within Alabama, a majority of the ALDI stores are located north of Montgomery. The Loxley project will signal the retailer's first presence in Baldwin County.
“ALDI and A M King have a long and successful relationship,” explains A M King Vice President of Operations Dan Crist. “A M King’s full property consulting services were instrumental to ALDI as the company was contemplating a Gulf Coast expansion. We were charged with site selection and due diligence and once the site was identified, ALDI and A M King immediately moved forward with design and construction of the facility.”
A M King worked in tandem with ALDI to determine adequate site infrastructure requirements for securing local economic development incentives. The property needed to be large enough, buildable and strategically located. Ultimately, A M King assisted ALDI in acquiring a 150-acre site just north of Interstate 10, conveniently located between Mobile, AL. and Pensacola, FL. and 25 miles from Gulf Shores, AL.
Development of this facility is a continuation of ALDI’s efforts to maximize the efficiency of their operations through facility design. A M King, which has extensive experience in this sector, has been able to bring new ideas to help support the retailers’ goals. There are several new elements that will be incorporated into the Loxley facility for efficiency, including:
- Use of insulated metal panels in lieu of concrete tilt or precast concrete exterior panels
- Optimum racking organization determined by product analysis from storage and flow perspectives
- First ALDI distribution center to utilize cross-docking services
- Large, unobstructed areas of glazing at the office, allowing all employees to have outdoor views
- Restrooms, locker rooms and maintenance for both ambient temperature, cooler and freezer employees housed in the central core of the building
In addition, there are several design components that will facilitate social distancing. The building layout is open and unrestricted by hallways so employees can have more separation as they move about. The circulation area at the main entrance lobby is a large two-story space that does not restrict the flow of employees entering or exiting the building. Lastly, A M King developed a 2,600-sf outdoor flexible workspace next to break rooms and open office areas, allowing workers the opportunity to separate themselves or provide a fresh air working environment when needed.
Notable sustainability initiatives in the building include:
- Full solar array over the Dry Warehouse, which will send surplus energy back into the grid
- Drive-In style dock doors in the perishable docks, providing a much better seal for a thermally tight building
- Full LED lighting throughout the entire building and site
- Warehouse is fully designed with 6-inch-thick insulated metal panels, creating a thermally tight and efficient building envelope
- Clerestory windows surround the Dry portion of the warehouse allowing natural light to help offset the lighting needs within the space
- Floor-to-ceiling curtain wall around two sides of the two-story office allows tremendous amounts of natural light to filter into the space.
“More than 20 properties were considered for our Loxley site but very few met the necessary criteria that would allow us to build the most innovative ALDI warehouses to date,” said Adam Kastl, director of warehouse development at ALDI U.S. “The building will include several sustainable initiatives, like solar panels, LED lighting, outdoor flexible workspace and more to ensure our operations are as productive as possible while maintaining our standards of safety and well-being for employees.”
A M King also provided a significant list of cost savings options, the majority of which were accepted by ALDI, including alternate building skin types, concrete slab options, exterior paving options and types of refrigeration systems.
The scope of work on the Loxley facility will cover 193,440 sf of Dry (Ambient Temperature) Storage; 23,000 sf of 55-Degree Storage; 65,661 sf of 34-Degree Cooler Storage; 12,896 sf of 30-Degree Meat Storage; 27,949 sf of 0-Degree Freezer; 4,949 sf of -10-Degree Ice Cream Freezer; 46,281 sf of Perishable Inbound/Outbound Dock with 38 dock positions; 82,138 sf of Dry Inbound/Outbound Dock with 49 dock positions; and 24,679 sf of Class “A” office spaces.
About A M King
A M King is an integrated Design-Build firm based in Charlotte, NC with offices in Greenville, SC and Chicago, IL. An employee-owned company, A M King consistently and successfully delivers quality projects throughout the United States. With an experienced team committed to protecting clients’ assets, the firm provides property consulting, design and engineering, construction, and facility services in key market sectors including food processing, food distribution, industrial manufacturing, and commercial properties.
ALDI U.S. is one of America's fastest growing retailers, serving millions of customers across the country each month. With more than 2,000 stores across 37 states, ALDI is on track to become the third-largest grocery retailer by store count by the end of 2022. When it comes to value, ALDI won't be beat on price. For 10 years running, ALDI has held the esteemed title of Value Leader among U.S. grocery stores according to the latest Market Force Information U.S. Grocery Competitive Study,* and ALDI has been No. 1 for price according to the Dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index Report for four years running. Since 1976, ALDI has offered a unique shopping experience where customers Shop differentli and never have to compromise on quality, selection or value. In fact, 1 in 3 ALDI-brand products is award-winning.** Customers can save time and money by conveniently shopping in-store or online at shop.aldi.us. ALDI also proudly serves as a Feeding America Leadership Partner, donating 30 million pounds of food each year in an effort to end hunger in America.
*According to annual surveys of U.S. consumers conducted 2011-18 and 2020 by Market Force Information.
**As of 1/29/20, based on an audit of everyday, nationally distributed ALDI-exclusive branded products.