"It's really became a win, win, win situation for us," said Eddie Burks, owner of Burks Beverage and Burks Broadcasting. "There's a synergies we can realize under one roof that we can't now."
Construction of the 40,000-square-foot building, at the corner of Hoff and Huish roads in the south Dyersburg Industrial Park, is currently under way with earth-moving equipment flattening the land for the foundation.
The impetus for the project was spurred by the 2006 decision by Burks to remove the beverage company from the ever-increasing costs of mixing and distributing sodas like Pepsi and Dr. Pepper and join a cooperative.
Michigan-based Wis-Pak leads a consortium of 34 shareholders, who like Burks operated bottling operations, to reduce overhead, customize delivery and offer speedier transport to customers. Since Burks shifted the local bottling operation in favor of Wis-Park last year as the southernmost member, other bottlers further south joined. This put the Dyersburg operation as the ideal location for a distribution hub, said Burks.
Burks said as many as 40 people could be hired to work the two-shift days, in addition to local trucking firms benefiting from the firm's transport needs.
The broadcasting group -- WASL 100.1 FM and WTRO 1450 AM, and The Eagle 97.3 FM -- will benefit from sharing the facility with the warehouse distribution. A quarter of the building's floor space is to house the radio station.
Burks said the station was among the first in the nation to gain a repeater license for an AM station to be broadcast on FM. WTRO since November has also been heard at 101.7 FM.
"We will share a receptionist, conference rooms, things like that," said Burks. "That just makes a whole lot of sense to capture those synergies."
The current radio building, on Radio Road north of Dyersburg, is leased from Trimble investor Hamilton Parks. The 10,000-square-foot station at the new location will almost triple the space from the existing 3,300-square-foot office.
A 500-foot aerial tower will be sited at the Huish Road address.
Burks, who as head of the Dyersburg Regional Planning Commission in November recused himself from the vote to approve the plan, said tower height is a critical element in broadcasting.
"The higher you are, the farther away the signal can be heard," he said.
The warehouse is scheduled to open in May 2008, said Burks.
The broadcast group is expected to begin operating out the new building in fall 2008, he said.