April 13, 2021
COLUMBUS, IN – Ninth Avenue Foods, a California-based beverage production company, announced plans today to locate its new Midwest headquarters and production facility in Columbus, Indiana, 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 jobs by the end of 2024.
“After searching many locations in multiple states, Columbus, Indiana, was chosen as the perfect fit for our growing company,” commented 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 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 175 W and Deaver Road. 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 over the past few months to encourage the firm to locate in Columbus. Mayor Jim Lienhoop was also personally involved in the community’s pitch to the company. In support of the company’s investment plans, the Columbus City Council will, on April 20, consider the company’s request for a ten-year tax abatement which, if granted, will offer the company a gradual phase-in of its property taxes over ten years.
“I’ve been impressed by the company’s approach to mixing family values with innovative production capabilities,” said Mayor Jim Lienhoop. “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 & Instrument Control Technicians, Quality Technicians, Warehouse, as well as Administrative positions, beginning likely March 2022.
“Ninth Avenue Foods will be a perfect fit in our community,” said Jason Hester, president of Greater Columbus EDC. “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!”
According to Hester another important factor to the winning the project to Columbus was 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 175 West.
As an added economic benefit to the community, the company selected local firm, Force Construction, for the significant site development and building project.
“The entire Force team has worked exceptionally well to help us win this project to Columbus,” said Hester, “and 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.”
According to company information, Ninth Avenue Foods is a family-owned company that specializes in extended shelf-life dairy and dairy alternative products. 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 production of some products that do not require refrigeration, providing a greener alternative to conventional refrigerated storage and transportation.
In addition to the anticipated City of Columbus incentive support, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) also offered 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 to the local community from the Industrial Development Grant Fund (IDGF) to support the City’s off-site infrastructure improvements.
“This is a great announcement for our city, and we look forward to welcoming Ninth Avenue Foods to Columbus, Indiana,” said City Council President, Elaine Hilber.
About Ninth Avenue Foods
Ninth Avenue Foods is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated company with a long-standing history of quality and service in the dairy industry. As innovation has led to growth and success, family values and commitment to quality has remained the same. Our new state-of-the-art ESL manufacturing facility and over 50 years of experience in the industry will take your products from concept state to successful launch with ease. At Ninth Avenue Foods we offer a personal touch and do our best to go the extra mile for our customers. Learn more about Ninth Avenue Foods at www.ninthavenuefoods.com.
About Greater Columbus EDC
The Greater Columbus (Indiana) Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is an independent, member supported non-profit local economic development organization serving Columbus and all Bartholomew County, Indiana on behalf of local government and area employers. Working with state and regional partners, Greater Columbus EDC grows & attracts well-paying, high value-added, community-minded businesses by influencing and leveraging the area’s distinct capabilities in advanced manufacturing, design, and STEM education resources. For more information about Greater Columbus EDC and the services it offers, please visit www.ColumbusIN.org.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.
About Force Construction
Force Construction Co., Inc. is a third-generation, family-run self-performing general contractor serving commercial, industrial, and institutional building, heavy/highway and site/civil construction customers in Indiana and throughout the Midwest. Force Design, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary and provides a wide variety of architectural, engineering, interior design and planning services. Since their first construction project in 1946, the Force Construction Co., Inc. has been guided by family values and a commitment to providing clients with quality construction services. The Force Organization is 100% employee-owned. For more information visit www.forceco.com.