NorthPark Bags Schnucks for Million Square-Foot Distribution Center

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nextSTL has learned Schnuck Markets has selected NorthPark business center in north St. Louis County over a site in Sauget, IL for an expansive distribution center. The development, immediately to the east of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, will feature a million-square-foot warehouse, nearly double the size of Schnucks current total warehouse storage capacity.

Located between the intersection of two major Interstate highways, an international airport and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the 550-acre industrial complex is partially located in, or abuts, the municipalities of Cool Valley, Kinloch, and Ferguson.  In 2005 St. Louis County awarded redevelopment rights in the TIF district to NorthPark Partners. Land was purchased from Lambert Airport.

Schnucks currently has more than 500,000 square feet of warehouse space at several facilities located throughout the area. The grocer’s biggest storage and distribution center is in Bridgeton. Most products for sale at Schnuck Markets pass through these warehouses. Transportation drivers deliver products from the warehouses and manufacturing facilities to 100 company stores throughout five Midwest states.

The 38.75-acre Bridgeton depot was developed in 1971, and has been expanded twice. Schnucks has determined the facility to be structurally inefficient. According to a company press release, the functionally obsolete warehouse is also lacking the space to meet Schnucks needs. St. Louis County Department of Revenue records list the Bridgeton property’s assessed value at $13,500,000.

The new distribution center will feature extensive refrigeration capabilities. This will facilitate more than double the space currently available for fresh foods and grocery items at Schnucks Bridgeton distribution center, and an auxiliary site in Hazelwood at Park 370 Business Center. Clayco is expected to serve as project manager for the Schnucks NorthPark development. The construction firm’s chairman and CEO, Bob Clark, is a partner in the business center’s ownership group.

NorthPark is the largest land redevelopment in St. Louis County history. When fully developed the business center will be able to accommodate approximately 5 million square feet of office, light industrial, and retail space. Two MetroLink stations serve the NorthPark campus. Pending all approvals, and agreements regarding incentives, the project known as Pillar will be the first in the development’s 223-acre phase II.

nextSTL has no knowledge of incentives regarding this development. However, Missouri recently offered $7 million in tax credits for a $56 million Express Scripts expansion at NorthPark. The pharmacy benefits management company could be eligible for more tax credits totaling nearly $25 million if 1,500 jobs are created.

Additionally, SKF, an industrial lubrication systems company recently received an incentive package of more than $8 million from the state and St. Louis County to build a $60 million 310,000 square foot NorthPark facility. The company is expected to shutter its plant on Goodfellow Blvd. in St. Louis, and will be operating out of the new building by the end of 2015.

Schnucks will have design input, but will not manage the new facility. The company has stated it will maintain a smaller operation at Bridgeton, and hire an outside firm with warehousing expertise to manage and staff the NorthPark distribution center. Current Schnucks warehouse employees will have to re-apply for their jobs with the new management company.

UFCW Local 655 represents workers in area retail food and distribution centers. The union’s three-year contract with Dierbergs, Schnucks and Shop ’n Save expires in May of 2016. An attempt to reach UFCW Local 655 president David Cook for comment regarding the new distribution center was unsuccessful, as was an attempt to reach Schnucks representatives.

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  • Todd Varady

    BTW we are the experts, having serviced these stores for 41 years.

  • Todd Varady

    We as warehouse workers are local 688 not 655 clerks.

  • Robert Gardiner Sr.

    Geoff did you know this development will not include the 300 current warehousemen from Teamsters local 688 ?

    • Geoff Whittington

      I heard something regarding that recently. Would love to speak with a union representative. My attempts to contact the UFCW were fruitless.

      • mark strassburger

        The warehouse workers do not belong to the ufcw. They belong to the teamsters local 688

        • Geoff Whittington

          “United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655 represents workers
          in retail food and non-food, manufacturing, packing houses, distribution
          centers, laboratories, and hair care.”

          • Mark strassburger

            Iwas just letting you know that when schnucks deals with their warehouse they deal with the teamsters,so to contact them. Thank you

          • Geoff Whittington

            Thank you. I will try and contact them Monday.

  • Presbyterian

    I’m glad too see North County snagging some investment!

  • moorlander

    Good to see Schnucks investing not only in north city but also north county.

    Any updates on this one?

    Plans grow for Schnucks’ $4 million greenhouse

  • Tim E

    Geoff, I was going to hit you up on your thoughts on another thread concerning Clayco. They seem to have their hands on a couple different proposals and projects going forward in the St. Louis area this coming year. But my thought I wanted to put past you, do you think Clayco will entertain an office move to CWE? Specifically, the proposed tower coming together for Koplar’s Kingshighway/Lindell Ave corner?
    Well its a bummer he moved HQ to Chicago. The company as a whole seems to be doing fine with plenty of work.

    • Geoff Whittington

      Not sure about that Tim. Maybe Bob’s fiancee can convince him to move back to St. Louis, and undertake the project. It is a bummer about the HQ move. However, Mr. Clark has left St. Louis way more than just a skeleton crew with regard to presence. Clayco will probably hit $1 billion this year. Doing fine indeed.

  • Tim E

    I think the lack of rail service in deceiving in the fact that intermodal is playing a bigger part in shipping these days. In other words, containers might make its first and last mile on a truck flat but spend most of its time on a rail car.

  • Chris

    North Park should have rail service, but Schnucks won’t use it. Grocery distribution on rail doesn’t work.

  • matimal

    “international”? Lambert has international flights?

    • DB

      just took a direct flight to Huatulco Mexico.

      • matimal

        I didn’t know there were Customs and Immigration facilities at Lambert. Good to know.

        • chaifetz10

          MidAmerica is also a “Port of Entry” as well as Spirit of St. Louis in Chesterfield and even the Decatur, IL Municipal airport.

          • Tim E

            Believe Lambert officials are working with a Texas based company on establishing Lambert as Port of Entry with Mexico so products/cargo can clear customs for either country in Lambert

    • moorlander
      • matimal

        I hadn’t been thinking of tropical resorts when I thought “International,” but they are not the U.S. and require passports. Who flies from Lambert to Toronto?

        • moorlander

          It says Air Canada Jazz

        • Geoff Whittington

          Actually, the owner of the factory where I work.

          • matimal

            The owner of the factory where you work does what?

          • Geoff Whittington

            Goes from St. Louis to Toronto. Just funny you mentioned Toronto.

          • matimal

            Oh. Toronto has American preclearance facilities under the control of American ICE. An American airport doesn’t need customs or immigration facilities to receive passengers from Toronto. I don’t know if that’s true in the tropical resort airports.

  • Scott Nauert

    No mention of rail service (talking about freight – not Metro).. One hopes they’ll utilize Norfolk Southern RR for at least some bulk shipments. 3.5 trucks per boxcar / railcar – traffic I’d much rather have on the rails vs. I-70!