Firestone Agricultural Tire Division is designing a new global distribution center in Des Moines, Iowa, that will provide service to more than 70 countries.
Groundbreaking on the 850,000-sq.-ft. facility is slated for spring, with the project expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2004, according to the division of Nashville-based Bridgestone/Firestone.
Clair McCloy, division controller, said the new distribution center-which will cost in the neighborhood of $20 million-will consolidate the work of five separate warehouses in Des Moines.
``We're taking the inefficiencies of five outside warehouses down to one,'' he said. ``There are efficiencies there both economically and operationally.''
He said the inefficiencies come from not only moving tires from one location to another but also maintaining the separate sites. The division's inventory practice of first-in-first-out also is a factor, he said. ``When you have it in five warehouses, (it's) pretty difficult.''
The division's administrative offices and manufacturing facility in Des Moines are not affected. Firestone Ag will have a 15-year lease on the new building, which will be built on 70 acres by general contractor Panattoni Development Co. of Sacramento, Calif.
The distribution center will be the first tenant in the new economic development center in Polk County, Iowa. By building in the economic development area, the company may be granted real estate tax incentives. The county also has agreed to infrastructure improvements, including widening a road and extending water and sewer service.
Some of the abatements depend on BFS creating and maintaining at least 50 new jobs.
Mr. McCloy said the land in the economic development area is now farmland that yields roughly $2,000 in taxes annually. With the BFS distribution center, it will garner about $300,000. ``There's a lot of winners on this project,'' he said.