First phase of Trader Joe’s ‘mid-America hub’ nears completion in Franklin

The first building is expected to be fully staffed and operational by January 1, 2024.
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) - The first of three buildings that will make up Trader Joe’s distribution center in Franklin is nearing completion.

So far, they have hired roughly 40 of their expected 800 employees.

Once complete, the three buildings will occupy roughly one million square feet along Highway 100 in Simpson County. At the facility’s groundbreaking ceremony earlier this year, officials expected to have the first building complete by the end of September.

“I’ll say that Trader Joe’s came into the community with as ambitious and lofty a goal of construction and completion of any industry I’ve ever seen. I really wondered if they could even get remotely close to where they were at, and I found that the answer to that question is that they’re really really close,” said Simpson County Judge Executive Mason Barnes.

Officials now expect that the first building will be fully complete, operational, and staffed by Jan. 1, 2024. Aside from the benefits of employment for the surrounding area, Barnes hopes to see the new facility create a lasting impact on industry markets in the county.

“As a lot of other areas, we lean pretty heavy toward automotive production pieces, and you know, the food industry is something that’s nonstop,” Barnes said. “You may see that the car market may come down, the food industry is always going to be strong, and I just like the diversity that it brings to the industry base here in Simpson County.”

There has been no confirmation of whether a Trader Joe’s retail location will open in conjunction with the distribution facility, though Dennis Griffin, executive director of the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority, believes that a store would be soon to follow the facility.

“This facility opens up for Franklin to have a location, possibly Owensboro, Paducah, maybe even Hopkinsville, those towns. I think the purpose of this facility is to allow them to expand their market,” Griffin said.

The second of the three buildings will begin construction as soon as the first building is operational and fully staffed. The third building will follow suit once the second building is complete. All three buildings are expected to be complete and operational within four years.