Ninth Avenue Foods, a California-based beverage production company, has announced plans to locate its new Midwest headquarters and production facility in Columbus, its first facility outside of its home state.
The company intends to build a 260,000 square foot state-of-the-art dairy and plant-based beverage facility and hire up to 101 new employees by the end of 2024.
“After searching many locations in multiple states, Columbus, Indiana was chosen as the perfect fit for our growing company,” said Ted DeGroot, chief operating officer. “We wanted to expand to the Midwest and for many reasons Indiana, and specifically Columbus, stood out. Friendly people, a growing community, and a high-quality workforce were all factors in our decision. We are excited to become a part of this vibrant and welcoming family-friendly community and look forward to opportunities for expansion and growth.”
The company plans to invest approximately $103.5 million to build and equip its new facility on a 40-acre site located just east of the Woodside Industrial Park, on Columbus’ south side near the intersection of County Road 175W and Deaver Road.
Ninth Avenue Foods is a family-owned company that specializes in extended shelf-life dairy and dairy alternative products, company officials said. A combination of high temperature and an ultra-clean filling environment enables Ninth Avenue Foods to package dairy and nondairy products with an extended shelf-life while maintaining the nutritional benefits of the product. The new state-of-the-art facility will allow the production of some products that do not require refrigeration, providing a greener alternative to conventional refrigerated storage and transportation.
The facility will house up to seven new filling lines and serve as the company’s Midwest headquarters, expanding on the company’s West Coast operations to enable a national customer reach.
Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has worked with the company the past few months to encourage the firm to locate in Columbus, said Jason Hester, president of the Greater Columbus EDC. Mayor Jim Lienhoop was also personally involved in the community’s pitch to the company.
“This is a great announcement for our city, and we look forward to welcoming Ninth Avenue Foods to Columbus, Indiana,” said Columbus City Council President, Elaine Hilber.
In addition to the anticipated incentive support from the city, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) is also offering Ninth Avenue Foods up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. The IEDC will also provide up to $150,000 from the Industrial Development Grant Fund (IDGF) to support the City’s off-site infrastructure improvements.
“I’ve been impressed by the company’s approach to mixing family values with innovative production capabilities,” Lienhoop said. “By leveraging Columbus, Indiana’s nationally recognized manufacturing strengths, we trust Ninth Avenue Foods will find great success here, and we are more than pleased to support their new state-of-the-art beverage facility and Midwest headquarters here.”
As the new facility is built, Ninth Avenue Foods will begin hiring in Columbus for production, maintenance, and instrument control technicians, quality technicians, warehouse, as well as administrative positions, beginning next March.
“Ninth Avenue Foods will be a perfect fit in our community,” Hester said. “They will benefit from our location and manufacturing strengths, and they will offer our residents well-paying jobs in an industry that will help diversify our local economy. We are delighted to welcome them!”
Another important factor to bringing the project to Columbus was the ample availability of water and wastewater treatment services to be offered by Columbus City Utilities. In support of the project, Columbus City Utilities will extend a 12” water main approximately 2,000 feet to both serve the project and future developments along County Road 175W.
As an added economic benefit to the community, the company selected a local firm, Force Construction, for the significant site development and building project.
“By choosing a local design-build construction firm, Ninth Avenue Foods will strengthen our local economy before they even open their doors, by supporting local design and construction jobs,” Hester said.