All Wittichen Supply Company Customers,
Wittichen Chemical Company and Wittichen Supply Company, along with the corporate offices have been in this location on the south side of Birmingham since the company was established. Over the years, as the company has grown and UAB has grown, it has been increasingly difficult to operate efficiently out of this facility. The construction of the new ball park directly next door has further complicated matters. We are simply busting at the seams. We don’t have enough showroom/display space. We don’t have enough office space. We are limited on warehouse space. And, worst of all, we do not have enough parking for our customers and employees. Constant UAB Medical Center construction traffic has also made it extremely difficult for our customers to get to us at times. We have known for a long time that we needed to do something, but it is hard to think about moving from where we have always been.
For the last 3 or 4 years, David and I have been looking at all possible options. We have considered moving General Offices out of this location to free up space and parking. With many other industry related businesses located on the north side of town, we have considered splitting this branch into 2, with one on the north side, and one on the south side. We have also considered moving the branch and General Offices in their entirety to another location. But, there just has not been a clear cut simple answer, and it has been difficult finding the best option.
I am happy to announce that on December 31, 2012, we closed on the purchase of a facility that will give us the options we need. This building has approximately 95,000 square feet, and sits on over 3 acres. There is approximately 75,000 square feet of tall warehouse space, and 20,000 square feet of office space. The building is already set up with a large showroom/sales counter/branch office area AND a completely separate General Office area with its own entrance, along with a training room, conference room, and other amenities. It is well set up for a large branch/distribution center/General Office operation all in one type set up. The building is located in a more industrial distribution area on the north side of town, within a few square block radius of many other industry related businesses. Most importantly, there are over 200 marked on-site parking places for our customers and employees. There is a tenant currently in the building through August, 2014.
I am NOT saying we will be moving next September, but we now have something that gives us lots of options. This gives us plenty of time to evaluate the impact the new ball park and other projects will have on our current location. It is a great real estate investment for the company, and allows us the options of (1) relocating General Offices and leasing out the warehouse, (2) relocating General offices and having a branch there and here, or (3) moving everything in its entirety, if we choose to. This just gives us lots of different options and ways we can go, and plenty of time to evaluate those options to determine how we can best serve our customers.
This has been a long and exhaustive effort, and an investment in our future that, despite the uncertainty of our current economy, positions Wittichen Supply Company for years of future growth!
Here are a couple of pictures of the new facility:
UPDATE! Coming February, 2015! 2912 – 3rd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203