Coca-Coca facility to close in Danville

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) A popular soda manufacturer that's been putting people to work in Danville for more than a century is leaving the city.

Coca-Cola is shutting down its distribution facility on Trade Street early next year.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson tells WDBJ7 they will be consolidating operations at a new bottling and distribution center in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is already in the works.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company says it makes sense to consolidate the two locations.

The new Greensboro location is still under construction, but Coke aims to close its Danville facility in the first quarter of 2018.

That's when the company's lease on its Trade Street building is scheduled to end.

"Potentially sometime in January, if all the things that go along with construction and meeting timing deadlines are on course that's what we would aim for," says Coca-Cola Spokesman, Brian Nick.

The Danville facility employs about 50 people. They'll be given an option of either commuting to the Greensboro facility, or leaving the company with a severance based on tenure.

"The kinds of jobs that they have where they call on customers, and service accounts and things of that nature, aren't wedded to a particular facility, so from that standpoint, we have a lot of people on our team that won't be affected," says Nick.

This does not come as a surprise to the employees. The spokesperson for Coca-Cola tells me they have been having conversations with employees since June about the change.

He also says the Greensboro facility will continue to serve the Danville area.