Texas Border Business
Laredo, TX — A M King has begun construction of a south Texas distribution center for Mexico-based GAB Operations, LLC (GAB). The new 45,590-sf facility, when complete, will provide increased cold storage capacity for fresh produce and will serve as a hub for the company’s U.S. and Canadian customers. The project is scheduled to be completed in October.
GAB, founded more than three decades ago in Guanajuato, Mexico, specializes in the production, development, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits. Items include broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and other leafy greens, varieties of lettuce, celery, sweet corn, snow peas, pumpkin, sweet mini peppers, berries, and more. In addition, the company, which operates under the brand name Mr. Lucky, is one of the largest garlic and organic tomato producers in Mexico, prepares fresh-cut produce for food service clients and provides pre-packed salads and private-label products for many U.S.-based produce outfits. Fifteen years ago, the company initiated internal food safety standards and set its own documentation and traceability program. They use the latest technology in advanced irrigation systems, integrated fertigation and pest management systems to guarantee delivery of high-quality produce worldwide.
GAB’s Laredo distribution center will be located in the Pinnacle Industry Center, which is just minutes from the Rio Grande River and the Laredo International Airport. It is neighbor to Mission Produce’s new 262,000-sf greenfield ripening, processing and distribution center, an A M King project that will be complete this summer.
“We’re happy to be working with another prominent produce company in Laredo,” says Dan Crist, A M King Vice President. “Our food industry expertise, coupled with our track record of successfully completed cold storage and distribution facilities, places us in a great position to design and build this project, and serve as a resource for a new international client.”
GAB Vice President Miguel Usabiaga emphasizes that quality and exceeding customer expectations are important. “We always strive to exceed our customer’s expectations, and this is why we decided to partner with the Design-Build professionals at A M King. We are looking forward to a successful project completion.”
GAB President Jaime Usabiaga says, “The GAB project will not only house the cold storage warehouse and offices of the GAB Laredo distribution center but will also feature a trucker dormitory where our fleet drivers may rest before continuing their route.” During the design phase, A M King worked with GAB to ensure that the layout and flow of the space met current as well as future needs. As part of the process, we also included a forced air cooler that would bring the temperature of the produce down quickly and safely and incorporated different vertical leveler lengths for cargo flexibility.
Finally, the workspace design, consisting of a large open area with manager offices around its perimeter, will allow employees to social distance more easily. The open office area will have a high ceiling and open workspaces for collaboration among the employees. All the private offices will have full lite glazed doors to promote a team building environment, as well as an abundance of natural light. The space also includes a copy area, conference room and break room.
Dock employees will have their own breakroom/training room, lockers and toilets. The truck drivers’ dormitory will feature a lounge, shower/ toilet area and two exterior doors to help create a single flow through the space. It will only be accessed by fleet drivers.
The scope of work on this project includes 7,717 sf of refrigerated spaces ranging from 34-45 degrees; a 13,030-sf, -10-degree freezer; 2,502 sf of 75-degree dry storage; 10 dock positions and 4,570 sf of office space. In addition, there is 82,000 sf of concrete truck apron adjacent to the building. The exterior of the warehouse will be constructed using Insulated Metal Panel (IMP), but the office section will utilize an EIFS/Stucco finish and a decorative metal accent panel system.