Buffalo Trace breaks ground on $20M expansion

Distillery will add 40 jobs

By Shannon Brock, Published:

Gov. Steve Beshear donned a hardhat and joined Buffalo Trace Distillery officials Wednesday for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the company’s new 83,000-square-foot distribution center.

“We’re here to celebrate once again the expansion of our bourbon industry in the commonwealth of Kentucky,” Beshear told the crowd assembled near the future construction site.

“Over the last, at least, half dozen years, if not more, the bourbon industry has been an endless source of jobs, capital investment and tourist visits — not to mention polishing the state’s image across the country and across the world,” the governor added.

“It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and we’re very happy that the bourbon industry is a signature industry here in the commonwealth.”

Jeff Conder, vice president for manufacturing of Sazarac, Buffalo Trace’s parent company, thanked the governor and other dignitaries for attending the groundbreaking and showing their support for the growing bourbon industry.

“We’re here to break ground on a distribution center,” Conder said. “It’s the largest of a number of investments going on at this facility, and we’re certainly fortunate as a company, and really as a state, to be enjoying the benefit of the growth of bourbon.”

Beshear applauded Sazerac for investing not only in Frankfort, but in other Kentucky cities as well.

Sazerac will invest $20 million in the distribution center, adding 40 full-time jobs at the 228-year-old distillery over the next two to three years.

“The company is going to invest some additional funds to make sure that the new building is going to maintain this distillery’s current look and make sure that, from an architectural standpoint, they’re enhancing their status as a national historic landmark,” Beshear said.

The company also plans to spend an additional $50 million to expand its two other Kentucky distilleries: The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro and the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown.

Steve Summers, executive vice present of Gray Construction, the company hired to design and construct the facility, explained that the new building would have an older look to fit in with its surroundings.

“The walls will be about 55 feet tall,” Summers said. “It will be a concrete tilt up facility, but it will have brick inlays, so it will favor the buildings that you see around you today.”

Another company, Westfalia, designed the automated storage and retrieval systems that will be at the core of the building.

Westfalia President Dan Labell said the system operates within a compact warehouse.

“It’s essentially lights out, which means there’s no people inside, there’s actually machines inside that are storing and retrieving the products,” he said.

Sazerac is the first spirits supplier in the United States to use such technology.

The new portion of the warehouse will be connected to the existing distribution center.

In February, the Frankfort City Commission approved de-annexing 5.48 acres of land on Wilkinson Boulevard for the expansion.

Before the decision, the site crossed from the county’s jurisdiction into the city’s land. The governments reached a tax-sharing agreement to push the plans forward.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval for tax incentives totaling approximately $7.4 million between the three Sazerac-owned sites.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • mach570, May 2, 2014 9:35AM

    "BrunoI agree that burbon is a dangerous drug, but so is a lot of numerous items." 

    Yeha, but it is alcohol, not "a lot of numerous items" that is the 3rd leading cause of preventable death and tobacco is the FIRST...stuff we make around here by the box car load.  We are awash in drugs so the concept of becoming drug free is ridiculous. 

    Yeah, mach570, you, me and Senator Rand Paul, his father the Hon. former Representative Ron Paul, and noteable conservatives William F. Buckley, Jr., economist Milton Friedman, Rich Lowery, Governor and former Republican presidential candidate Garry Johnson, Judage Andrew Napolitano, Glenn Beck, Tom Tancredo, Rep. Bob Barr, Grover Norquist, George Shultz, Pat Roberson, Thomas Sewell, Shawn Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Michell Malkin and others ALL agree that we should decriminalize marijuana.  Pointing out the hypocrisy of our drug laws makes it much harder for those who oppose this decriminalization to defend their illogical and hypocritical positions.

    The Republican Party is the party of a bunch of ignorant old white guys who are stuck in the 1950's...that is not my "racist" opinion, that is a fact.  We call them demographics, ever hear of them?  The Republican Party has some clear age, race and religious trends, but for sure the Republican Party is the party of the rich, white, married, as well as the under-educated working class males who some how identify with their overlords.  

    According to Gallup, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 89% of Republican self-identifiers nationwide in 2012...that is 9 out of 10, dewd!  Sixty percent of married men vote Republican, along with 55 percent of married women.  Republican candidates gain a significantly higher percentage of votes from individuals with incomes over $50,000 per year, and the advantage increases along with the income level, to a height of 63 percent of individuals earning $200,000 or more a year supporting Republicans. Before the U.S. economy’s downturn, an all-time high of 81 percent of Republicans expressed satisfaction with their personal financial situation. That number dropped to 61 percent in 2009, but it is still significantly higher than the corresponding 52 percent of Independents and 49 percent of Democrats. A much larger proportion of Republicans than Democrats also identify themselves as “haves” versus “have-nots.”

    The Republican Party is the party of white working-class voters, defined as white people who have received a high school diploma or have some college experience, but no degree. This group has fallen as a percentage of the overall vote by 15 percent between 1988 and 2008, but continuously votes Republican at a 20-point or more advantage. Older voters, on average, skew Republican. This advantage is partially offset by the Democratic slant of younger voters, although older voters are more likely to vote. The average Republican is 50. The Republican Party is almost exclusively Christian. GOP candidates earn 59 percent of all Protestant votes, 67 percent of all white Protestant votes, 52 percent of the Catholic vote and only 25 percent of the Jewish vote.

    And you never did say what I am a hypocrite.

    You can lead a man to knowledge but you cannot make him think.

     

  • BrunoI agree that burbon is a dangerous drug, but so is a lot of numerous items. I can see that in between all of you insults and hypocrocy you are wanting to legalize marijuana and you feel pointing out the hypocrocy of the state will help you do that. I agree with you (SPIT)that marijuana should be legalized but we need to use the bourbon industry to help out.

     

    Now about your insults, except there is no "go" in conservative, just a bunch of ignorant ol' white guys who can't see the forest for the trees. This statement is a racist remark and uncalled for. To burst your bubble, I am leaning more toward the libetarin ideas so this is not insulting to me but it is insulting to a certain group in America and should not be said.

    Enough of that. Now what part of true consevative ideas and or libertarian ideas make people more dependent on goverment?????

  • mach570, May 1, 2014 9:20AM

    "So we do away with the Coal industry and the Bourbon industry." 

    Who has said anything about doing away with the Bourbon industry?  Not "people like Bruno", but given the pervasive health issues of this dangerous and addictive drug industry, I surely don't think that we should use government subsidies to assist its development and expansion.  The boubon industry is booming world wide right now, somewhat like the oil industry ('cept not nearly as big a scale), yet government is giving away our precious tax dollars to both...why is that?  People like mach570 can't seem to understand that that is corporate welfare which is far more expensive and creates income inequality than public assistance for the poor.  Government subsidizing big freaking industry just to increase their existing profitable bottom line makes people like mach570 happy.  Maybe they need to rethink this thing through some more...I would say "go conservatives" except there is no "go" in conservative, just a bunch of ignorant ol' white guys who can't see the forest for the trees.

    The coal industry is doomed by attrition and energy market realities as it is nearing the end of its long run, kinda like whale oil, trees, etc., and there are just a lot cleaner ways to make electricty than burning dirty coal.

    What makes KY more dependent on the feds are people like mach570 making more copies of themselves.   

  • So we do away with the Coal industry and the Bourbon industry. Oh yea lets not let the horse tracks find another source of revenue and lets let Indiana countinue to take our gambling money. The way I see this is Kentucky will become more dependent on the federal Goverment and people like Bruno will be happy. Go Liberals

  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch, thousands of jobs are leaving Erlanger, KY for Plano, Texas as Toyota decided it would be better served by moving it's North American headquarters.  Way to drop the ball, ferret.

  • “We’re here to celebrate once again the expansion of our bourbon industry in the commonwealth of Kentucky,” Beshear told the crowd assembled near the future construction site.

    “Over the last, at least, half dozen years, if not more, the bourbon industry has been an endless source of jobs, capital investment and tourist visits — not to mention polishing the state’s image across the country and across the world.

    “It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and we’re very happy that the bourbon industry is a signature industry here in the commonwealth.”

    So, we gave them over 3/4 of a million dollars incentive, because as we all know, there just isn't enough of the bourbon drug flowing out of KY these days...an endless source of the 3rd leading cause of preventable death.  Let's all celebrate while we pretend that this has nothing to do with drugs and our zero tolerance of those who dare to choose to use drugs other than this one...we through those people in prison because they are dirty scum and don't wear ties to ground breaking ceremonies with the guv'nor.

    This hypocrisy strikes at the very heart of the government's War on Some Drugs policies. 

  • This distribution center will have a roof, which will have water run off, which will provide taxes to our city.