For nearly three decades, our Opus team members and ConAgra Foods have enjoyed a prosperous partnership. It began when our team members constructed ConAgra Foods' corporate campus in Omaha, Neb. Since that time, ConAgra Foods has enlisted us to design and build a nationwide network of 11 temperature-controlled and dry distribution facilities in eight states, totaling more than five million square feet. The most recent project was the largest building ever constructed for ConAgra Foods – a 1.6 million-square-foot distribution center in Frankfort, Ind.
A Respected Partner
We know our work is an extension of our client's and partner's brands in the communities where we work. We've earned the respect of our project communities by developing and maintaining relationships with the community, subcontractors and more; being good stewards of the community; and being a good representative for our clients. All this so that when you move into the building, you can trust that the community has a good impression of the project and your company.
“Opus would come to city council meetings and they would answer any questions in an open, public setting," said Chris McBarnes, mayor of Frankfort. “They would internalize that feedback and then come back to the table and say, “We're going to alter these things, because we think that this idea would best suit your community. Maybe it wasn't the original idea, but this is what the people of your community want."
Addressing a Community Vision
The city of Frankfort was an ideal location for ConAgra. In an effort to bring more jobs to the community, the city had created an Economic Development Plan and a Redevelopment Commission that established it as an appealing market for new development and economic growth. According to Chris McBarnes, mayor of Frankfort, “A project as significant as ConAgra Foods is to the City of Frankfort takes teamwork, hard work and dedication. The Opus team's professionalism, expertise and responsiveness played a vital role in helping to establish ConAgra Foods as a valued Frankfort corporate citizen."
Beyond a Building: Infrastructure Improvement
A key transportation infrastructure improvement project contributed to making ConAgra Foods' Frankfort distribution center a success and showcased our commitment to being a good community partner.
Before the Frankfort distribution center opened, we worked with ConAgra Foods, the City of Frankfort and Clinton County to speed up a road construction project that greatly improved access from the state highway to the distribution center. Clinton County had planned to construct a new road, from the highway to the county road fronting the ConAgra site, which would miss the ConAgra entry point by a short distance. To improve accessibility for trucks and other vehicles, we convinced the County to redesign the road into an 'S' curve instead of along a section line that ran perpendicular to our site, creating a straight-shot, direct access to the facility's entrance drive.
For ConAgra Foods' carriers, the new road saves time and reduces complexity for trucks accessing the facility. For the county, it has increased traffic safety by providing a truck route that reduces truck traffic on other area county roads. The infrastructure improvement was a winning proposition for all involved parties, as well as the community.
Delivering this facility for ConAgra involved thoughtful and skillful collaboration by the entire project team, resulting in an incredibly successful outcome that will satisfy ConAgra's requirements for maximum efficiency and competitive differentiation and empower their mission of making the food people love, and the city's desire to increase its employer base.
Watch the video above to see leaders from ConAgra Foods and Opus talk about their experience in Frankfort and the longstanding partnership between the two companies.