Regional food bank chooses Palisade for central location

The largest commercial building in Palisade is in the process of welcoming a new occupant, the Food Bank of the Rockies.

The nonprofit organization that distributes food to 1,271 hunger-relief programs from Colorado to Wyoming selected a 27,360-square-foot warehouse at 119 N. Bower St. as its new distribution center after a months-long search, according to planning documents.

The food bank filed its multi-phase plan for the project last week, and a public hearing before the town’s Planning Commission is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Palisade Community Center, 120 W. 8th St.

Some work has already begun to bring the building up to the town’s land development code, according to Palisade Community Development Director Becky Levy. If the Planning Commission signs off on the project, the organization can take the next step and begin a major remodeling of the facility.

According to documents, Food Bank of the Rockies picked Palisade because “the area is very desirable due to its freeway access, access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and it is more centrally located to the partner agencies” the organization serves.

The group currently distributes food through three facilities — a main warehouse in Denver, a branch in Casper, Wyo., and a 12,700-square-foot distribution center at 734 Scarlet Drive in Grand Junction.

Food Bank of the Rockies plans to add refrigeration, pallet racking and a food processing room in the new Palisade facility.

It’s also in the process of improving landscaping, sidewalks and the service area in the rear of the building to buffer a nearby single-family residence from the increased truck traffic that will come with operation of the new facility.

The project is divided into four phases, but the group hopes to have the first two phases completed by late November and be in operation by the upcoming holiday season.

The Food Bank of the Rockies distributed 41.2 million pounds of food last year through 1,003 partner agencies, according to the organization.

The local branch of the group, the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, first began operation in 1998 in a small building at Seventh Street and North Avenue. It moved to the Scarlet Drive location in 2001.

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