Ryan Companies US Inc., a national developer, builder, designer, and property manager offering full-service commercial real estate solutions, announced today the grand opening of Kroger Ocado Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Groveland, near Orlando.
The 338,000-square-foot state-of-the-art automated warehouse will introduce Kroger’s innovative shopping experience to central Florida, a new market for the nation’s largest grocery retailer, while also extending its reach and capabilities in online ordering and home delivery.
Ryan served as the lead architect, engineer, developer, and construction team for the project. Kroger and Ocado hosted a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on July 29th to mark the facility’s grand opening.
“The nation’s most prominent e-commerce, retail, and manufacturing companies trust Ryan’s end-to-end industrial real estate services for the facility solutions that drive their success,” said JP Bacariza, Vice President, Market Leader – Tampa at Ryan Companies. “The new Groveland site will be a gamechanger for Kroger in Central Florida, allowing the community to enjoy America’s largest grocery retailer for the first time. Our team served as the touchpoint on each phase of the project from site selection to construction, and we are proud to celebrate this milestone with our long-term partners, Kroger and Ocado.”
Located in Groveland, just 30 miles from Orlando, the high-tech facility is the first of its kind in the United States. In partnership with United Kingdom-based online retailer Ocado Solutions, autonomous mini-fridge-sized robotics will work seamlessly with team members to gather, pack and load online orders made by new Kroger customers. Kroger Ocado will provide home delivery of fresh grocery items without requiring patrons to sign up for a third-party subscription service.
Ryan developed a relationship with Kroger after being selected to design and build the first Ocado automated warehouse outside Cincinnati, Ohio. Ryan’s knowledge of designing and constructing complex facilities with automation and robotics played a part in deciding to work on additional Kroger Ocado fulfillment centers, including a separate facility in suburban Atlanta that will open later this year.
Ryan has completed 40 automated warehouse projects (33+ million square feet) in 20 states for leading brands such as Kroger, Target, SuperValu, and Nestle Purina.
“Implementing our “One Ryan” approach of improving the connection between design and construction was instrumental in tackling every challenge we faced and enabled us to deliver this project within our target 13-month timeframe,” said Bob West, Director of Industrial Business Development for Ryan Companies. “E-commerce is fueling a surge in demand for automated warehouse facilities that are equipped to meet the fast-changing needs of grocers and F&B providers, and the comprehensive menu of service offerings provided under Ryan’s umbrella will allow us to innovate and drive change in this critical sector for years to come.”
The relationship with Kroger and Ocado ties into Ryan’s broader strategic partnership strategy and delivering projects as more than a contractor, but as experts in each phase of the process, from planning and designing to construction. The Groveland project is unique to the region because Kroger does not currently have brick-and-mortar stores in Florida. The community anticipates the customer fulfillment facility will attract many new high-paying jobs. Features of the four-floor Kroger Ocado site include the distribution center, functional office space, double story break room, and a mezzanine floor.
The Kroger Ocado Customer Fulfillment Center broke ground in July 2019 and will begin delivering groceries in Central Florida this summer.
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