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April 19, 2017

Robots will run this $50M Tacoma warehouse

Photo by Benjamin Minnick [enlarge]

A hulking mass of steel is rising in South Tacoma off South Orchard Street West, where Fisher Construction Group is building a $50 million cold storage warehouse for the Dutch company NewCold and its tenant Trident Seafoods.

The steel skeleton is a clue that this is no ordinary warehouse: it will stand 130 feet tall, be able to store 100,000 pallets, and robots will pick most of the frozen food inside. The steel frames, pictured in the taller structure, are the actual racks where product will be stored — walls will be built around them.

When needed, pallets will be transported to the loading area by a series of conveyors and robots. The computer-deployed robots will work in the dark and in minus 5-degree temperatures.

NewCold expects to open the warehouse in November. It will be one of the first automated cold storage warehouses in the state and one of the biggest of its type in the country, with a storage capacity of more than 25 million cubic feet.

Fisher, a Burlington-based design-build firm, demolished at least 17 buildings to prepare the site for construction. Hanson Pipe & Products previously used the site to build concrete tunnel segments. It also produced reinforced concrete pipe at the site, according to a 2012 article in The News Tribune.


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