About 250 employees of Swire Coca-Cola, USA will flow from jobs in Provo, Salt Lake City and West Valley City to one consolidated location in Draper in May, a company official said Thursday.
Jeff Edwards, Swire vice president of distribution, said construction is slightly ahead of schedule for the company's three new buildings, which cover about 350,000 square feet on 60 acres in the Draper Industrial Park near 12300 South and 265 West."We're planning on a move-in in the first couple weeks in May," Edwards said. "We're all real anxious. We think it's going to be a real positive step for our company and real good for our people, too."
The $24 million project has been a long time coming. Edwards said the idea of consolidating operations in a central location first came up about 10 years ago, and the Draper project started in 1994.
Since then, several complications have caused delays.
Last summer, Swire realized a sewer line it was placing on its property ran through a wetlands area, or federally protected habitat for birds, animals and plants.
Edwards said Swire handled the problem through mitigation, turning about four acres elsewhere on its property into wetlands.
"We didn't want to have any wetlands on the site, truthfully," he said. "But since it wasn't an option, we went ahead and ended up enhancing the area so there will be better wetlands there than there ever were before when we're done."
The other issue is transportation. Edwards said Swire will have about 62 trucks running out of Draper every day to serve clients everywhere from Bountiful and Payson to Park City and Evanston, Wyo.
But a project to widen 12300 South to four lanes beneath I-15 and west to 265 West may not be done until July, he said.
"It's just going to be a headache, but it's nothing we can't overcome," Edwards said.
"Even though the road situation isn't great out there right now, (the buildings are) perfectly situated on I-15 between the (Salt Lake and Utah) valleys. When you look at the central point of our system, it moves closer to that direct spot every day."
Draper Mayor Richard Alsop said he does not think the new operation will cause too much congestion on the city's roads.
"We are encouraging of a commercial business coming into Draper that supports and enhances the quality of life that we have in our city and would provide . . . employment opportunities for our citizens," he said. "To the extent that this or other commercial facilities meet those desires, then we certainly encourage those kinds of things and welcome them."
One of Swire's new buildings will house all of its vending equipment and repair, while a second will be dedicated to vehicle maintenance. Edwards said the third, and largest, building will be the company's corporate office, Salt Lake and Utah valley sales center and distribution center.
The company has a buyer for its current headquarters at 900 South West Temple in Salt Lake City, Edwards said. But he would not release the name of the buyer, because the deal has not closed.
He said Swire also will close its distribution location in Provo and its vending and vehicle repair sites in West Valley City.
The Swire bottling plant will stay in West Valley for now, he said, but its operations could end up in Draper in the future.
"We own 108 acres (in Draper), but we're developing on about 60 acres," Edwards said. "The plan is to eventually use the rest of the (Draper land) for a bottling plant. It just depends on the timing and the funding."