Coca-Cola announces multimillion-dollar expansion
West Memphis plant will double in size, adding 60 new jobs
It’s the real thing! The Coca-Cola Bottling plant in West Memphis announced plans to expand. The maker, bottler, and distributor of Coca-Cola products to 14 states in the Mid-South will expand its production facility on Rainer Road by 200,000 square feet. The company planned to transfer 60 jobs nearly doubling its current work force.
The company will invest $33 million into the project. Company officials indicated the move was driven by the need to grow bottling capacity and the lack of industrial space at its other facility, which will reportedly close in late 2020. Not only does the Rainer Road location have green fields for expansion, the company took a promised incentive package put together with state and city governments including PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) package and backing an industrial revenue bond.
West Memphis Utility rates for both electricity and water are known to be the lowest in the region driving down operating costs. The ISO Class One fire rating helped in reducing fire insurance costs. All these factors figured into the beverage giant decision to expand in West Memphis.
Government officials noted the state and local incentive package offered to the beverage bottler.
Governor Asa Hutchinson said Coke continued to add economic life to West Memphis.
“When an iconic American Company like Coca- Cola continues to invest in Arkansas, we know we are doing the right things right,” said Hutchinson.
“Jobs for skilled workers that pay higher wages are important to the Delta, and we applaud Coca-Cola for making the right choice for workforce, community and location.”
West Memphis Economic Development Executive Director expressed pleasure in the local company reinvesting in its location.
“We are pleased a recognized company like Coca-Cola make its invest- ment in our city,” said Sorrell. “It is quite meaningful when an existing business chooses to expand in your community, and we look forward to our continued partnership.”
Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director Mike Preston said it was location, location, location.
The transportation infrastructure at the Intersection of Interstates 40 and 55 made West Memphis ideal for the 14 state distribution planned at the growing bottling plant.
“This expansion is welcome news for our partners in West Memphis and Crittenden County, the crossroads for the U.S. transportation industry,” said Preston. “We look forward to working with Coca-Cola to finalize the details for more jobs and millions of dollars of investment.”
Mayor Marco McClendon said what was good for Coke was good for the city. “Coca-Cola has been a valued business partner in this community for a number of years, and we are excited they have chosen to expand in West Memphis,” said McClendon.