TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Governor Brian P. Kemp announced Friday that Coca-Cola Bottling Company United (UNITED), the second-largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America, will build a new sales center in Tifton, creating 200 jobs and investing $60 million.
Coca-Cola UNITED currently operates a smaller sales facility in Sylvester, which will close once the new Tifton facility opens in late 2021. Sylvester plant employees will work out of Tifton.
“As one of our most beloved and deeply-rooted brands, any time the Coca-Cola system expands, it’s good news for the State of Georgia,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “I want to congratulate Coca-Cola UNITED on its plans to build this new, state-of-the-art facility. I am confident that our unrivaled workforce and expansive logistics network will ensure their continued success as they distribute Coca-Cola products throughout the Southeast from this new center in Tifton.”
The facility in Tifton will include a sales and distribution center, warehouse, and office space, and will serve customers and other Coca-Cola facilities throughout South Georgia and the Florida panhandle, distributing around 4.5 million cases of Coca-Cola products annually.
WALB spoke with the CEO and President of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce about Coca-Cola’s plans to build a distribution and sales center.
The brand has been around for more than 100 years, but it will soon just be a few miles closer to home in South Georgia, thanks to one man and his team.
“Almost every project comes down to community leadership. And we have a great community leadership team here,” said Brian Marlowe, CEO and president for the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.
Marlowe has served in that role for years, and said this project is one that others in the southeastern part of the country wanted as well.
“Of course, there were a couple of other states that we were competing up against. So they were looking all over the southeast,” Marlowe told us.
Marlowe said the new project will be beneficial for Coke but also for the Tift County community for commuters traveling I-75.
“To be frank with you, it’s very strategic for us because we will have over 100,000 vehicles a day riding by seeing Coca-Cola on the front of that building and I think that’s a great advertisement for us,” Marlowe said.
The word traveled fast that the distribution center was coming to the “friendly” city. One local manager at the 41 and Main, Anthony Ewings, shared his thoughts.
“Well it’s going to bring a lot of jobs and we are already growing as a county so I’m excited about that,” Ewings said.
“For one, it’s down the road from my restaurant and it’s going to bring more business and more traffic,” Ewings told WALB News 10.
With the new center comes opportunities for more jobs in the county as well as surrounding counties.
“There are 200 jobs that will be in the facility. It will be a state-of-the-art facility about $60 million dollar investment in the facility,” Marlowe shared.
Marlowe said the new site will be an 80 acres track off of US Highway 41 and can be seen from the I-75 interstate.
“It’s important to us to provide opportunities for people to help themselves and while at the same time help companies getting their products, goods, and services to their consumers,” Marlowe said.
Marlowe shared that the $60 million dollar project is set to begin towards the end of the month of October. The center is said to be completed in the beginning of the 2021 year.