Kroger to Build Large DC in Atlanta

Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. plans to build a large $250 million distribution center in suburban Atlanta, according to published reports.

The retailer reached the deal earlier this week with the city of Forest Park, which is located about nine miles south of Atlanta and just east of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Its projected opening date is September 2015.

Kroger plans to hire between 700 and 900 skilled workers when it opens the facility, according to a Forest Park official quoted in the Clayton (Ga.)News Daily. It expects to ultimately increase employment to 1,500.

The distribution center will reportedly take more than 1 million square feet of a planned redevelopment of former U.S. Army base Fort Gillem. The grocer currently operates about 36 distribution centers across the country.

In other Kroger news, the retailer was recently named Employer of the Year by the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities at the organization's annual Bridges Gala in Washington, D.C. 

The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities fosters the employment of young people with disabilities. The "Bridges from School to Work" program, run by the Marriott Foundation, helps more than 1,000 young people enter the workforce annually with steady, beneficial employment as they leave high school.

"We are honored to receive this recognition from the Marriott Foundation," said Katy Barclay, Kroger's SVP of human resources. "We have a long tradition of hiring people with disabilities, especially on our front lines serving customers. Associates we have hired through the Bridges program are consistently among our most reliable and friendly employees. Customers often select a check lane in order to be served by a youth we have hired through Bridges. We thank the Marriott Foundation for the valuable work they do to help businesses meet their workforce development needs."