Alberta liquor warehouse contract awarded

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Construction on the new Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission warehouse could begin as early as next month now that a contractor has been chosen.

The contract was awarded to Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd., an Edmonton-based construction company that has been named one of Canada’s Top 50 General Contractors in Canada by Construction Market Data Group.

At $91.5 million, Dawson Wallace had the lowest bid, but AGLC spokesperson Holly Hunka said the company was chosen based on a number of criteria. While she could not speak to specifics, she said that Dawson Wallace’s bid was the “strongest overall.”

Request for proposals opened on Alberta Infrastructure procurement website on Nov. 6, 2015 and closed Dec. 12, 2015.

The bid was awarded Dec. 17, but the information was not made public until earlier this week, as AGLC worked to finalize its contract with the construction company in late December.

The 473,000-square-foot building will serve as the province’s main distribution centre for spirits, wine and imported beer.

“Our current distribution centre is no longer able to support the continuing growth of Alberta’s liquor industry,” explained Hunka. “To put things in perspective, right now, there are more than 22,000 liquor products available in Alberta. Back at the time of privatization in 1993, there were only 2,200. So there’s a lot more volume. This new building will help the AGLC meet the needs of the industry and provide adequate service.”

The new building will eliminate the need to lease space in three different Edmonton facilities and was estimated to save AGLC about $5 million per year in operating costs.

The warehouse will be constructed south of the Apex Casino on about 22 hectares (55 acres) of land next to Veness Road. AGLC purchased land in the Campbell Business Park in 2014.

Hunka said the proximity to Anthony Henday Drive and AGLC headquarters made the location ideal.

The current warehouse located at 50 Corriveau Ave. will be re-engineered to help support the main facility. It will house lower-volume specialty brands of liquor.

Landscapers broke ground on the project in summer of 2014, putting in a water retention pond, roads and other infrastructure. Weather permitting, Hunka says construction of the facility should begin as early as next month.

The new warehouse is expected to bring more than 400 jobs to St. Albert.

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Michelle Ferguson