Cincinnati Business Courier – Keller Logistics, Hemmer convert former big box stores to add jobs
By Chris Wetterich – Staff reporter and columnist, Cincinnati Business Courier Feb 16, 2023
Keller Logistics is investing millions to upgrade vacant, former Value City Furniture and Burlington Coat Factory stores in Latonia. It plans to add dozens of jobs there as it expands its packing business.
Keller plans to add up to 45 jobs at 4293 Winston Ave. in Latonia as it adds to its packing business. The company is a contract packager that works for mid-size companies, such as Rhinegeist and Zevia.
Keller is working with Hemmer Construction to bring new life to a 200,000-square-foot vacant structure close to a vibrant business district in Covington. The site is also on a portion of the old Latonia race track.
“They send us four or five flavors, and we pack them in variety packs,” said James Good, vice president of Defiance, Ohio-based Keller.
Keller has roughly 600 employees nationwide, with 50 to 100 in the region, depending on the season. It has been in Northern Kentucky for about three years.
“The Cincinnati market is good for us,” Good said. “It puts us in a central part of the country.”
The buildings are being gutted and refurbished, adding space for machine operations and offices.
The final capital investment dollar amount is unclear, but it will be in the millions of dollars, said Rob Miller, Keller’s construction and property manager.
“Instead of run-down building it’s going to be something we’re proud of that the city would like as well,” Miller said.
The project started in August, with some employees expected to move in by the end of the month, with exterior renovations continuing beyond that.
Matt Curtin, senior business development with Hemmer, said Keller faced a time crunch, and the company and Hemmer were able quickly to work out a deal. Hemmer believes there are similar opportunities within local cities for reusing old retail and other types of buildings.
“We’re thrilled to be able to do this type of project in our community,” Curtin said.