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Kroger investing $95 million in new high-tech fulfillment center in Romulus

The Kroger Co. is spending $95 million to build an automated customer fulfillment center in Romulus that would create 270 jobs.

The Michigan Strategic Fund board on Tuesday awarded $1.6 million in a Michigan Business Development Program grant to support the project.

The planned 130,000-square-foot facility at 15675 Wahrman Road will prepare and ship grocery orders to customers within a 90-mile radius, according to a Sept. 28 Kroger news release. Kroger will partner with UK-based Ocado Group PLC robotics equipment, which provides grocery retailers with technology to support e-commerce and fulfillment. Ocado equipment and a supporting technology grid will result in a $25 million capital investment, according to a memo from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The project will require about $94 million in private investment, including $58 million for the leased facility and $11 million for equipment and technology infrastructure, the memo states.

The city of Romulus also anticipates the approval of tax abatements in support of the project. The MEDC authorized a state education tax abatement in conjunction with the local plans. Kroger, according to the memo, is working to allocate new market tax credits to support the project. New market tax credits push companies to invest in what have been identified as low-income communities through a federal tax credit.

The center is expected to become operational 18 months ground is broken and will support customers in several markets, including Michigan, northern Ohio and Indiana, according to the Sept. 28 release. Once construction is complete, hundreds of robots working along a grid system will select items that will be delivered to employee-staffed stations where the groceries will be sorted and loaded onto refrigerated vehicles for delivery.

Crain’s reached out to Kroger for details on the construction timeline and other details.

Kroger (NYSE: KR) said it aims to hire workers from Romulus and neighboring communities, working with local workforce development organizations as well as community and technical colleges.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on October 27, 2020.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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