A Crowning Achievement

  • Client:  Crown Holdings, Inc.
  • Location:  Nichols, NY
  • Size:  535,000 SF
  • Architect:  Margulies Hoelzli Architects
  • Responsibility:  Design Build / Construction Manager
  • Construction Period:  14 Months

Crown Holdings, Inc., a leading supplier of metal packaging products worldwide, is operating its first greenfield facility in the United States in more than twenty years thanks to Blue Rock Construction.

The new 535,000-square-foot manufacturing plant Blue Rock built in Nichols, NY features:

  • 168,000 SF warehouse
  • 41,000 SF unloading area
  • 30,000 SF expansion area
  • 16,000 SF office area

Equipped with two manufacturing lines, the state-of-the-art plant has the capacity to produce 7,000 specialty cans a minute and 1.6 billion cans per year.

Along with the Nichols facility, Crown operates fifteen beverage can plants in North America, manufacturing aluminum cans ranging in size from 7.5-ounce to 16-ounce, as well as a variety of beverage can ends.

During construction, the massive size of the New York plant, which sits on 40 acres, required the use of helicopters to deliver mechanical components for its heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning units.

Midwest Helicopter Airways transported a total of 44 lifts, which included (11) 2,650-pound heaters. The Midwest crew and the project team from J&K Plumbing and Heating did an excellent job executing the airlift plan.

Blue Rock’s design-build project team also enjoyed a great partnership with  Margulies Hoelzli Architecture and Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., which provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing, and fire protection design services.

Construction took 14 months to complete.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your efforts in completing the Nichols plant,” said  Mark Liptrot Project Manager for CROWN Technology. “It was a pleasure and a privilege to have met and worked with (Blue Rock). I wish you all the very best for the future and maybe one we will cross paths again.”

Crown dates back to 1892 and is one of the leading metal packaging companies in the world. It employs 23,000 people worldwide.


Building a Tower for Sekisui

Blue Rock completed renovations to SEKISUI Polymer Innovation’s 340,000-square-foot manufacturing campus in Bloomsburg, PA with some dramatic results.

Eight months after construction started, the facility now includes a new four-level, 72-foot Blend Tower. SEKISUI SPI, a worldwide manufacturer of specialty polymers, will use the 4,800-square-foot tower to manufacture advanced materials used in aerospace and mass transit applications.

The Blend Tower also includes two large roof hatches to allow a crane to remove or add equipment when needed.

Before (above) and after (below) photos of the Blend Tower. 

Along with the tower, the SEKISUI SPI project included interior and facade renovations:

  • A new 10,000-square-foot appLab™, which is a process area to turn raw product into prototype applications, features an interior mezzanine for office space, plus a workshop area
  • A 4,600-square-foot facade upgrade featuring Sage glass and insulated metal panels to its Customer Collaboration and Finance offices
  • Full remodel of existing finishes and fixtures in the locker room

Renovations took five months to complete.

The remote office area before renovations (above) and after (below)

Expansion for Godshall’s Quality Meats

Phase 1:  Blue Rock renovated and expanded Godshall’s production facility in Lebanon, PA with a 38,000-square-foot addition that features two main levels for production and another mezzanine for offices.

The main levels include cold storage, clean rooms, packaging and washing rooms, plus production and storage areas. Most of the facility is conditioned to 36 degrees F, while other areas are set between 60 and 70.

Phase 2:  Blue Rock re-purposed one existing large room into five new blast chillers and one stick room. Work included:

  • Cutting and removing existing slab
  • Excavating and removing enough materials to provide new floor drains
  • Providing a new mud slab with electric heating system
  • Insulated metal panel walls
  • Epoxy flooring

Phase 3:  Fit-out work consisting of expanding existing restrooms, providing a new insulated metal panel locker room and wash room.

Blue Rock Delivers Upscale Cold Storage Facilities

Penske Logistics Center cold storage facility
Penske Logistics cold storage and warehouse facility in Logan Township, NJ

Penske Logistics provides logistics services to leading companies around the world. When Penske required a new cold storage facility on a tight schedule, they turned to the expertise of Blue Rock Construction.

Operating on an aggressive 10-week work schedule, Blue Rock delivered a 125,000-square-foot cold storage facility in Logan Township, NJ, to meet Penske’s needs.

Penske Logistics cold storage facilityPenske Logistics cold storage facility“Ten weeks to develop a 125,000-square-foot facility is pretty quick,” said Kevin Kelly, Blue Rock’s Senior Project Manager. “By working 12-hour shifts and Saturdays, Blue Rock delivered this project on schedule despite encountering some delay issues.”

As part of the LogistiCenter at Logan, this $1.8M design-build project includes an 86,300-square-foot warehouse, a 30,000-square-foot cold storage area, and an 8,500-square-foot office space dedicated to a front office with a shipping office in the back.

Within the warehouse, Blue Rock installed HVAC systems to include both cooling and heating, which is somewhat unusual for such a large warehouse.

“You don’t typically heat and cool large expansive warehouses, but they needed a cooling element in there,” said Kelly. “It’s an ambient temperature. Typically, they’re just freeze-protection warehouses where you’re not addressing any kind of hot temperatures in the summer. But they need to keep it temperature controlled in the summer and winter.”

Along with the HVAC systems, other features Blue Rock delivered include:

  • Upgrading 23 loading docks, including two cooling-system docks
  • Constructing an audiovisual conference room
  • Installing a rear mechanical pad to house new cold storage
  • Installing condensate drain lines for a refrigeration system
  • Modification to existing ESFR fire suppression system to include dry pendent heads and wet systems for office fit-outs
  • Obtaining permits and approvals required by various Logan Township agencies

Constant communication and real-time collaboration between Blue Rock and Penske Logistics, along with Clarion Construction of Walnut, CA, which handles cold storage and refrigeration items for Penske, was key to fast-tracking the project.

“It was a little unique, but everyone knows they have to be on the same team,” said Kelly. “The schedule was aggressive and we all held to it.”

This was Blue Rock’s first project with Penske Logistics, but certainly not its first premium cold storage facility. Other examples range from regional distributors to national supply chains, such as (click company name for more detailed info):

  • Trader Joe's cold storage facility
    Trader Joe’s processing and packaging facility in Nazareth, PA.

    Trader Joe’s: 132,000-square-foot facility with various unique cold storage environments

  • Freshpet: $5.3M, 65,000-square-foot renovation for refrigerated food and treats for dogs and cats
  • FoodSource: $2.1M, 55,000-square-foot facility with 36,950 square feet for cold storage, cold docks and repackaging areas
  • Genji: Converted an existing 4,600-square-foot warehouse into a freezer and cooler facility
  • Gretz Beer Company: $4.9M, 320,000-square-foot cold storage with a 172,600-square-foot temperature controlled warehouse and a 14,250-square-foot keg cooler.
  • Alacer Corp: $6.6M, 130,000-square-foot facility with temperature controlled areas
  • Central Admixture Pharmacy Services, Inc. (CAPS): Strict temperature requirements for a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and cold storage facility.

Penske Logistics Company Overview

Penske Logistics is a subsidiary of Penske Truck Leasing. It has operations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia; and employs over 9,000 employees. Penske Logistics specializes in inbound supply chain management, cross-docking, sequencing, dedicated contract carriage, distribution center management, transportation management, lead logistics and just-in-time support.

LogistiCenter at Logan Overview

Operated by Dermody Properties, LogistiCenter at Logan is a 1,100-acre, master-planned Class A business park planned for over 5.5 million square feet of warehouse, distribution, and manufacturing space. Located halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., in the heart of the Northeast Transportation Corridor, LogistiCenter at Logan provides exceptional access to the U.S. Interstate system. This strategic location puts 40% of the total U.S. population and one of the world’s largest consumer markets within a one-day drive.