Midwest Refrigerated Services to consolidate Pleasant Prairie operations in new building

Midwest Refrigerated Services, a frozen and refrigerated logistics and distribution services company catering to the food industry, plans to consolidate its Pleasant Prairie operations into a new facility.

The company currently operates two distribution centers in leased spaces in Pleasant Prairie through a subsidiary, Prairieview Distribution Services LLC. It plans to consolidate operations from those facilities and from a leased facility in Illinois into a 411,000-square-foot facility that is currently under construction at 11681 88th Ave. in Pleasant Prairie.

Prairieview Distribution currently occupies space at the northwest corner of 88th Avenue and 113th Street in Pleasant Prairie and in the Jelly Belly warehouse building at 10100 Jelly Belly Lane in Pleasant Prairie.

The new building for Midwest Refrigerated Services was being built on speculation by a joint venture of Oak Brook, Ill.-based CenterPoint Properties and Milwaukee-based Wispark LLC. The joint venture was also building a 521,052-square-foot spec building at the site, which will be occupied by Uline.

Midwest Refrigerated Services plans to occupy its new facility in September, and is currently negotiating the purchase price with CenterPoint Properties.

The building will be used to warehouse bottled beverages, canned cranberry sauce and jelly manufactured by a food processing company in Kenosha, with additional space available for other food processing customers.

MRS will move 60 employees to the building and plans to hire an additional five employees.

The move to consolidate will boost the company’s operational efficiency with its inventory, transportation services and staff, particularly as it continues to grow, according to Mike Pokel, president and chief executive officer of Midwest Refrigerated Services.

The new space contains about 100,000 square feet more than the current three locations in Pleasant Prairie and Illinois combined, Pokel said.

“The additional, incremental space provided by this new building will allow us to provide for additional customers’ space needs in this market,” he said.

Behind the company’s growth is a demand for outsourcing logistic activity, according to Pokel.
Customers are finding that it is more cost effective to outsource logistics, such as storage and transportation needs, to “companies like us, who are experts in their field,” Pokel said.

“And it allows them to focus on their core competencies,” which are producing products that Prairieview Distribution Services can then store and transport, he added.

Midwest Refrigerated Services has about 150 customers total, most of which are based in Wisconsin.

While Midwest Refrigerated Services has locations across the Midwest, Prairieview Distribution Services is located exclusively in Pleasant Prairie.

Pleasant Prairie is the best location for the subsidiary, Pokel said, because of its proximity to customers’ production facilities and to the interstate for its outbound shipments.

The subsidiary must also be located within a 50-mile radius of Kenosha, where it has a concentration of customers, Pokel said.

As Midwest Refrigerated Services continues to scale up, it looks to grow predominantly in the Midwest, especially in Wisconsin, where most of its growth is rolling out.

The company’s focus for the remainder of the year will largely be the consolidation of facilities in Pleasant Prairie, according to Pokel.

Additional expansion opportunities are being explored in Madison and Beloit, Pokel said, though he declined to comment on specifics.

MRS’ approach to growing operations is dependent on where its customers need its services and where it deems there is “a strategic need” for its services, he said.

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