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Chick-fil-A to open St. Louis-area distribution center

Chick-fil-A Supply's Maryland Heights distribution center will be its fourth nationwide since the restaurant chain formed the unit in 2019.
Credit: University City Plan Commission
This rendering shows the new stacking drive-thru design of one of the chicken restaurants proposed at the Costco-anchored Market at Olive development in University City, Missouri, at the intersection of Interstate 170 and Olive Boulevard.

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — Chick-fil-A Supply, an affiliate of quick-service restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, plans to open a market distribution center in Maryland Heights, officials said Wednesday.

The company is investing $16 million in the new facility, which will service more than 40 Chick-fil-A restaurants in the region, according to a press release. The restaurant chain has about 22 locations in the immediate St. Louis area, and has at least two more in the planning stages, in Maryland Heights and in University City.

Chick-fil-A Supply plans to create over 60 new jobs at what will be a 100,000-square-foot distribution center in Riverport Trade Center, a $65 million industrial park that Kansas City-based NorthPoint Development began building a year ago at 13971 Riverport Drive.

The new distribution center will be in leased space in Riverport Trade Center's Building 1, one of three buildings currently being completed at the industrial park, a NorthPoint spokeswoman told the Business Journal.

Chick-fil-A Supply targets the second half of 2023 for the new center to be in operation.

The Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A Inc. chain, known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, has over 2,700 restaurants in 48 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and Canada.

Chick-fil-A Supply's Maryland Heights distribution center will be its fourth nationwide since the restaurant chain formed the unit in 2019 to address the need to keep up with the volume of food and products in its distribution network. It opened its first full-scale distribution center in 2020 in Cartersville, Georgia, and this year it opened its second and third centers, respectively, a $52 million facility in Mebane, North Carolina, and in suburban Nashville in Antioch, Tennessee, where it made a $16.3 million investment. Earlier this month, Chick-fil-A Supply announced plans for a fifth distribution center, an $80 million facility to open in 2024 in West Columbia, South Carolina.

"Our newest investment in the St. Louis area provides us the opportunity to grow our business and uniquely serve our franchise Operators, licensees, and their teams across the region," Josh Grote, executive director of Chick-fil-A Supply, said Wednesday in a press release. "It's exciting for us to expand our operation and create jobs that we know will attract exceptional talent from Missouri's diverse and skilled workforce."

Missouri Partnership, a public-private economic development organization, said that to attract Chick-fil-A Supply to Maryland Heights, it worked with organizations including the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Ameren, Greater St. Louis Inc. and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

As for state incentives for the new distribution center, the Department of Economic Development's Missouri One Start workforce development program will offer recruitment assistance at a realized amount of $46,580, a DED spokeswoman told the Business Journal. Chick-fil-A Supply also could receive up to $586,468 through the Missouri Works Program, which helps businesses access capital through withholdings or tax credits in exchange for creating jobs.

"Chick-fil-A Supply is a great addition to the St. Louis region's food industry, which is already a culinary hub for innovative companies," Subash Alias, CEO of Missouri Partnership, said in a statement. "Missouri is home to nearly 400 businesses in the food industry, and we're located within 600 miles of 135+ million potential customers. We have the foundation here for Chick-fil-A Supply to be successful, and we are excited to welcome them to the state."

Read more of the story on the St. Louis Business Journal website

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