July 4, 2014 1:17 pm
Updated: July 4, 2014 1:32 pm

Construction kicks off on massive new liquor distribution centre in Alberta

Groundbreaking ceremony at the new liquor distribution centre in St. Albert; July 4, 2014.

Eric Szeto, Global News

EDMONTON – To help meet the demand of our growing — and thirsty — population, the province is building a new liquor distribution centre in St. Albert.

Friday marked the groundbreaking for the 543,000-square-foot facility, which will be located southeast of the Apex Casino near Anthony Henday Drive. Once it’s complete, there will be 35 million litres of liquor flowing through the facility.

Finance Minister Doug Horner says Alberta’s liquor industry has seen unprecedented growth since privatization in 1993.

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READ MORE: Should Alberta allow liquor sales in grocery stores?

At that time, the current main warehouse in St. Albert — which will be kept operational — was the sole liquor distribution facility.  Since then, high product volumes have required the leasing of four additional warehouses in Edmonton.

By building the new facility, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) will no longer have to do that. It says this will reduce product shuttling and increasing operating efficiencies.

The design concept of the new facility will also take into consideration future expansion to allow the facility to grow as required.

“Customer service is top of mind for the AGLC with the new liquor distribution facility,” said the AGLC’s president and CEO, Bill Robinson.

“Improved operations on the supply end will mean better services to the industry. This will ensure Alberta consumers are served well too.”

Wes Brodhead, Deputy Mayor of St. Albert, is excited about the project, as well.

“This is a very good news story for St. Albert and will be received by the industry as a signal to the region that we continue to build momentum on the road to economic prosperity.”

The new facility is expected to take about two-and-a-half years to construct.  The province says the total project cost will be determined once all of the construction contracts have been awarded.

For more information on the warehouse, see the Q & A below:

© Shaw Media, 2014

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