FAIRFIELD — When is a warehouse more than a storage building? When it combines key elements typically associated with industrial, manufacturing, office and retail projects in one building combining to make it a major draw for visitors and customers alike.
All these diverse yet related objectives came together when the Critelli Olive Oil company, better known as the Olive Oil Factory LLC, outgrew its previous site after 20 years at the same Fairfield location and moved down the road in July, 2016 to occupy a large warehouse at 770 Chadbourne Rd.
This facility will enable the firm to not only expand production, but to also develop new products while forming closer connections with its clients.
This 92,568-square-foot building, built by Buzz Oates Construction in cooperation with LP Consulting Engineers, has a tasting hospitality center and wine bar complete with a fireplace in a room named Sonoma Harvest Olive Oil and Winery.
There also is a display area where visitors can view the olive crushing process through a window overlooking the production floor. Another room is set aside for large special events and parties. There is a children’s area where kids can play while parents take a tour, an outdoor seating patio as well as administrative offices for management and staff.
Some 16,000-square-feet of this facility’s tasting and display areas opened Nov. 21. The remainder of the space is used for multiple bottling lines for olive oil and vinegar, plus warehouse and distribution functions.
The Olive Oil Factory has been producing a variety of quality oil and vinegars since 1997 using the original Critelli Olive Oil name. In 2004 the firm created its first retail line, Sonoma Harvest, consisting of premium olive oils, nut oils and cocktail shrubs. Sonoma Harvest is also the brand name for its in-house wine crafted from local grapes. The firm also offers custom blends of oil and vinegars to the food service industry.
Marty Willett, senior asset manager with Buzz Oates, said, “While we specialize in building industrial warehouse distribution facilities that often have modest office areas, the Olive Oil Factory project was unique in terms of the amount of detail that went into the tasting room and office area. The new facility also features a rooftop solar array and LED lights. Office space has floating lights as well as natural lighting designed to enhance worker efficiency and improve morale in a modern setting.”
The leasing agent for this project was Phil Garrett with Colliers International’s Fairfield office.
Olive Oil Factory’s Operations and Administration Warehouse
CATEGORY: Industrial Agriculture
COST: $10 million
CONTRACTOR: Buzz Oates Construction
ARCHITECT: Leo McGlade & Associates (Shell Building); Arktegraf (Tenant mprovements)
FINANCING: City National Bank
COMPLETED: Nov. 21, 2016