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Buckhead Beef to call College Park home

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By M.J. Subiria Arauz

marauz@news-daily.com

Buckhead Beef Company, a Sysco Corporation company, is moving its plant location farther south, according to the College Park director of economic development.

During a city council meeting this week, Barbra Coffee said the company's new location will be stationed behind the Sysco Atlanta, LLC plant, at 2225 Riverdale Road, College Park. Construction will take place on a 9-acre piece of land belonging to Sysco Atlanta, she said.

Coffee said the building will be stationed behind the Sysco Atlanta facility, near Wickersham Drive.

"This...represents an opportunity to support a retainment and expansion project of Sysco foods," she said, during the College Park city council meeting.

The company is estimated to bring more than $500,000 in revenue to the city during its first year of operation, she said. This will include water and power revenues, as well as, permit fees.

"The opportunity for occupation taxes over 10 years is $1.8 million," she added.

Richard Blahnik, vice president of operations for Buckhead Beef Company, explained to the council that the beef distributor was acquired by Sysco Corporation in 1999. Sysco is one of the city's largest employers, and it is essential to retain and expand the business, said Coffee. Currently, Sysco Atlanta employs 680 people, she said.

The director of economic development said Buckhead Beef decided to move its plant in College Park, because its current facility is overcrowded, and most of its employees reside near the city. "It [new plant] will reduce the commute for many of their employees," Coffee said.

Blahnik added that the current plant is also old and depleted.

"We are coming to your city," he said to the mayor and council. "It is a matter of fact."

This move will relocate 157 jobs and create 15, to 25 new jobs during the new plant's first three years of operation, Coffee said. As the company grows, more jobs may become available for residents living within a 10-mile radius of the plant, said the economic development director.

"Eighty percent of new jobs come from existing businesses," said Coffee. "It is important to retain and expand the companies that are already here."

She said the proposed construction includes that the plant will be 60,000 square feet. The construction plan will be formally submitted to College Park in several weeks. Construction is estimated to begin this fall and the plant is anticipated to open in March 2012, Coffee said.

She said the plant will include areas for food distribution, food preparation and cold storage.

Buckhead Beef will be responsible for selecting a design-build contractor and will invest $11.5 million on the construction project, said Coffee. From the total cost of the project, she said, $8.5 million will be used in construction and the rest of the investment will cover the costs of new equipment for the plant.