Article by Clayton News Daily’s Cailin O’Brien.

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Transcript of Cailin O’Brien’s Clayton News Daily article:

Now that the deal’s been settled with Forest Park, Kroger seems to be in a rush to move into the new Gillem Logistics Center.

The deal officially closed Wednesday morning when about 800 acres of Gillem transferred to the city. Gov. Nathan Deal officially announced Thursday afternoon that Kroger, one of the world’s largest grocery retailers, would build a distribution facility on a portion of the land.

As of Thursday morning, demolition of building 516 — a gutted army distribution center sitting on the plot of land belonging to Kroger — had not yet begun. That put Kroger and its contracted design-building firm, Primus Builders, slightly behind schedule.

“Come back in two to three days. It’ll be half torn down,” said Forest Park City Manager Frank Brandon. “It’s going to be quick.”

The distribution center Kroger plans to build on its portion of the Gillem Logistics Center should be operational by September 2015. Brandon said he predicts the company will start hiring in either June or July 2015.

The center will create about 1,500 new jobs over the next two years — and the company has promised to let Forest Park city officials know about any job openings they could pass on to citizens.

“I’m so excited, I don’t even know what to do,” Brandon said.

Kroger declined to comment to Clayton News Daily as of press time.