By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
Adding nearly 300,000 square feet onto the existing warehouse distribution facility in Edwardsville-based Gateway Commerce Center for The Hershey Company is a construction project that is nearing completion, according to Todd Korte, president and CEO of The Korte Company.
The 292,410-square-foot expansion increases the existing plant’s size from an original 1.1 million square feet – also built by Korte – to nearly 1.3 million square feet.
The 2,300-acre bulk distribution and logistics park has called Hershey one of nearly 20 tenants since nearly two decades ago, shortly after the park opened. More than 15 million square feet of warehouse distribution operations have come online since Gateway’s beginnings.
The Korte Company’s construction of Hershey’s expanded presence at Gateway includes steel frame with exterior metal panels and a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof system with UV-resistant and heat-resistant qualities.
Korte said The Hershey Midwest Distribution Center receives, inventories and ships more than $1 billion of perishable chocolate daily, so maintaining a constant temperature of 60 degree with a relative humidity level of 50 percent is paramount. Logistical requirements of the original warehouse and this expansion project require warehouse structures capable of supporting massive loads while keeping areas open for high-speed forklift traffic to move products.
The expansion project is anticipated to reach completion in late June or early July, according to Korte.