When we moved into our current location in 2006, we estimated we’d need to expand in about 15 years to keep meeting the demand. We didn’t anticipate the Great Recession and the population growth our region is experiencing. Thanks to expanded relationships with generous local retail, wholesale and manufacturing partners, we’ve grown faster than expected to meet the increased need. Nine years later, we are faced with serious storage issues as we receive more fresh and frozen food donations and as we source more food and find more food donors to continue working to meet the need. We’ve reached a critical point where we’re forced to find a solution to add more space or choose to cut back on products we share with our agency partners and the programs directly serving our community, an option we didn’t want to consider. Options to expand our storage capacity included moving to a larger warehouse, seeking an additional warehouse, leasing additional space or maximizing our current space.
Warehouse space is at a premium in Metro Denver and while we could sell our current building easily, finding a new or additional warehouse at a price we could afford was not an option. Since we anticipate continuing to grow, leasing, our current solution, is expensive on a long-term basis. After consulting with experts, we learned that by making a few changes to the interior of our current warehouse, we could increase our storage capacity considerably. This was clearly the most cost effective option.
The new lay-out will remove walls, provide more room for additional racking space to increase our current pallet storage capacity by 47% and increase refrigerated space by 228%. We’ll replace our 40-year old roof. We’ll also make changes to the layout and flow of the building for easier and safer pedestrian flow for our volunteers, visitors, staff and agency shoppers.
We intend to continue serving our community with minimal interruptions to food distribution and estimate the project to be complete within about 16 weeks of starting, sometime in mid- late August. We’re working to raise an additional $2.65 million to complete the remodel and have selected I2 construction as our general contractor. Watch for more information and please pardon our dust as we begin remodeling work this month!