Kroger jas announced a $70 million investment in a 35,000-square-foot expansion at Tamarack Farms Dairy in west Newark.
With the extension, the firm will be able to install a cutting-edge aseptic milk line capable of producing various quantities of half-and-half, heavy whipped cream, coffee creamers, and Carbmaster milk beverages in PET bottles. The grocer’s aseptic milk line will be the first in the Midwest.
The Newark City Council approved an Enterprise Zone deal with Kroger last week, which offers the corporation with a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement on increased property valuation due to development.
Although the enterprise zone agreement is between Kroger and the Licking County Commissioners, the council adopted a motion agreeing to it.
Mark Mauter, Newark Development Director, commended council members for their decision, adding that suspending the two-day reading requirement and the 30-day waiting period on the legislation saved Kroger 44 days.
Mauter said: “In this day and age, that’s a big deal.”
“That sends a good message Newark is pro-business and willing to work with our corporate partners. This is a great economic development project.”
Tamarack Farms Dairy was constructed in 1978 and employs 145 people.
It is the state’s largest fluid dairy and serves around 160 Kroger shops in Ohio and West Virginia.
Kroger owns and runs dairy-production plants around the United States, and it touts its 10-day milk freshness guarantee.
Doug Blacksten, the Kroger senior director of supply chain and manufacturing. said “We are so pleased to see this continued investment in Newark,”
Blacksten said: “Kroger is fresh for everyone, and that means we are committed to sourcing and manufacturing only the best and freshest products. This cutting-edge innovation at Tamarack Farms Dairy underscores that commitment, improving our ability to offer high-quality dairy products to Kroger customers.”
According to the firm, the expansion will begin on September 30 and end on June 30, 2023.
On June 6, Mauter informed the council’s finance committee that the Newark plant, along with Winchester, Kentucky, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was one of three sites Kroger evaluated for the project.
Kroger’s enterprise zone proposal noted that various areas, most notably in Texas, offered the corporation incentive packages for the project.
Mauter said Kroger had selected Newark, but it was contingent on the enterprise zone agreement.
Newark Mayor Jeff Hall said in a statement: “We are thankful and delighted that Kroger company has chosen their Newark Tamarack Farms Dairy production facility as the site for their expansion project. Kroger has been a great partner in our community for many years, providing good jobs for local employees and superior products for our consumers.”
Kroger argued that the incentives would not only allow it to keep the 145 employees and $9.3 million in payroll but would also let it to add six jobs over the next three years.
The corporation would spend $16 million on construction and $54 million on purchasing and installing new gear and equipment.
Kroger serves over 9 million customers every day through internet shopping and 2,800 retail grocery locations operating under several banner brands.
In 2016, the firm opened a 123,455-square-foot Kroger Marketplace at 1155 N. 21st St., the former Meijer location, and shuttered its 80,000-square-foot Deo Drive shop, which opened in 1980.
Source: Newark Advocate