Buffalo Rock is one of the largest single-family owned Pepsi-Cola bottlers, serving over 6.5 million people from its 14 distribution centers in the southeast.
The company is known as an innovator in the industry, having developed numerous successful closures and packaging since it began in 1901, including the 3-liter bottle, the 20-Pak Mini-Case for 12-ounce cans and 12-ounce and 20-ounce bottles. Buffalo Rock has grown to become a Total Beverage Company and one of the region’s largest providers of full-line vending and food services.
Buffalo Rock hasn’t stopped evolving since the day it was founded in 1901. Its facility needs evolved over the years, too, and when the company began to outgrow its distribution hub in Birmingham, Alabama, Buffalo Rock selected HPM to manage the 1 million-square-foot expansion. This includes the renovation of an 895,000-square-foot warehouse and an approximately 120,000-square-foot office building, which will serve as the central distribution hub for Central Alabama. Buffalo Rock first tapped HPM to oversee programming and planning for the initial stages of the project. HPM led site analysis efforts, including a site assessment involving environmental studies and the hiring of consultants to perform upfront due diligence, which ultimately enabled Buffalo Rock to purchase the property. By performing a cost analysis and identifying which areas of the project to prioritize, HPM helped Buffalo Rock and its partners identify and control costs in planning, condensing the overall project timeline.
After a successful project in Birmingham, Buffalo Rock called upon HPM once again to represent the company in the construction of their brand-new North Alabama distribution center in Huntsville, AL. Eager to further expand upon our food and beverage portfolio, we accepted the task at hand, and embarked on a two-year, 204,000 gross square feet project with Buffalo Rock. Matthew Dent, CEO and President of Buffalo Rock cast a vision on behalf of the company, stating “As our business grows and expands, we need a facility that could outpace us.” Dent went on to explain that this facility would have distribution impact from the state line of Mississippi to the Tennessee state line and would include the majority of the Northern and Northeastern regions of Alabama.
With the client’s needs at the forefront of their minds, HPM’s preconstruction team began assisting Buffalo Rock in their search for the ideal location to house the facility. As sites were explored, HPM expedited due-diligence and design efforts to ensure the project stayed on target for the established completion date. In due time, 55 acres of land were purchased, allowing space to accommodate 34 loading docks and 89 parking spaces for trucks and trailers and the desired square footage. Ground was broken on December 17, 2020, and construction promptly began.
Throughout the lifecycle of the project, HPM consistently led in cost reduction and optimization of time management, enabling the facility to achieve completion on July 14, 2022—ahead of schedule and within budget. Dent described HPM’s leadership on the project stating “When we first met with HPM, there was obviously a whole menu of services we could select. We selected the entire menu, which took us from site selection all the way through the completion and delivery of the final product. HPM has been in the driver’s seat from the get-go on this project, and it has been very successful”.