CHATTANOOGA, TN. WDEF-TV - Local leaders say it took some work, but the 115 year relationship between Chattanooga and the Coca Cola company will continue.
A ground breaking took place Monday for a new distribution facility near Highway 153.
It'll bring in new jobs, but also help the Sheppard community.
By now most Chattanoogans know that the world's first Coca Cola bottling plant was established here in 1899.
With a ground breaking ceremony at the former Olin Mills site near 153, that relationship is set to continue for many more years.
CLAUDE NEILSEN, PRES. & CEO, COCA COLA "And it all came together today..where we're able to actually break ground on a new sales and distribution facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee...it's the only place that this facility should be.....applause".
Local authorities agreed Coke would be part of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program as an incentive.
MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "Everyone here should understand ...that financially it was better for them to be someplace else."
MAYOR JIM COPPINGER, HAMILTON COUNTY "We did have as Mayor Berke said,some obstacles in the beginning , and due to the perseverance of Coke ..And our people with the Chamber of Commerce ...And the city-county partnership as well as the state ...was able to make this happen."
Keeping the center here will save 270 jobs in Chattanooga, and add more than 40 more.
And since Coke will build on a 40 acre site in the Shepherd neighborhood there will be walking paths.
DARREN HODGES, V.P., COCA COLA CHATTANOOGA "We want to present this check for 260-thousand dollars for sidewalk and road....applause."
MALCOLM WALKER, PRES. SHEPHERD COMMUNITY COUNCIL "This is Coca Cola, and after having met with them and being assured that they will stand up to their usual reputation we feel good about it."
Thus, another big economic boost for Chattanooga/Hamilton county---a continued close relationship with the most recognized and valuable trade mark in the world.
Coca Cola United will spend 62-million dollars for that new distribution center.
The Ribbon Cutting is set for January 4th, of 2016.