Huge Foster’s Distribution Centre begins taking shape

Construction is progressing nicely on one of Grand Cayman’s largest development projects. With a move-in date still scheduled for late summer, the Foster’s Food Fair IGA distribution centre will be the biggest pre-engineered metal building in the Cayman Islands when it is complete, according to contractors. 

Workers have nearly finished erecting the metal framework on the warehouse for dry, refrigerated and frozen goods. The 75,000-square-foot building is about 450 feet long, 240 feet wide and 50 feet tall. Located on seven acres opposite the airport’s long-term parking lot, the distribution centre is one of several projects in the burgeoning Airport Commercial Park and adjacent Barcadere Marina. 

Local jobs 

Phoenix Construction Senior Project Manager Ray Boyce said about 150 workers will be involved in the Foster’s construction, with about 20-30 workers on the project at any given time. The vast majority of the workers are local; however, some foreigners are being brought in from the US to lead specialty work on particular features of the building. For example, 10 specialists have come in to install insulated metal panelling for the refrigerated sections of the warehouse, and 10 specialists will come in to install the distribution centre’s wearing slab – the extra-hard floor surface on which vehicles can operate. The specialist subcontractors are being supported by local workers, as well. 

Mr. Boyce said his company has hired additional workers specifically for the Foster’s project. “We’ve brought on 15-20 more local people to help on this particular building in various trades,” he said. 

He said they have completed 40-50 per cent of the overall construction schedule, and the building should be wholly enclosed in about five to six weeks, at which point the interior mechanical, electrical and plumbing specialists will largely take over. 

Mr. Boyce said Foster’s is still aiming to move in before 1 September, and that is a reasonable target in the absence of unforeseen problems or natural catastrophes, such as a major hurricane. The project’s groundbreaking late last year was held up by some initial delays, but Foster’s has been eyeing August 2012 since at least last September. 

 

Bay Market 

The other initiative by Foster’s, its new Bay Market in Camana Bay, recently opened for business. The 4,000-square-foot specialty market offers groceries, deli foods and a coffee bar. Owners wanted the store to offer as many organic and natural foods as possible, though never intended for every single item in the store to be organic. 

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The Foster’s Distribution Centre is 40-50 per cent complete and could open in August. – Photo: Patrick Brendel

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The Foster’s Distribution Centre is 40-50 per cent complete and could open in August. – Photo: Patrick Brendel

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The Foster’s Distribution Centre is 40-50 per cent complete and could open in August. – Photo: Patrick Brendel
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