Sargento planning HQ expansion with 300 new jobs

Would relocate road, add two office buildings

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:22 pm

Plymouth-based Sargento Foods Inc. is planning an expansion of its corporate headquarters that would include two new office buildings and the addition of 300 jobs, according to documents submitted to the state.

Sargento’s headquarters in Plymouth. Credit: Maredithe Meyer

The expansion is a part of a master planning process that dates back to 2010. The current version calls for the converter and packager of cheese products to begin construction on a three-story, 54,000-square-foot office building in 2020 with occupancy in 2022. A second building of the same size would begin construction in 2024 with occupancy in 2026.

Portia Young, Sargento director of corporate communications, stressed the plans are long-term and intended to accommodate the company’s ongoing growth. She noted the plans are preliminary at this point and are a long way from receiving final approvals.

“It’s really very speculative,” she said. “The plans could change.”

Under the version currently submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, the new offices would be located west and south of Lake Lou, a pond directly in front of the current main office building. Plans also call for the relocation to the south of Persnickety Place to make room for the expansion and address traffic flow issues.

“An important part of the expansion plan is to keep the corporate staff together at the headquarters facility and to maintain separation between corporate space and plant operations, which serve different functions,” the documents, submitted by Stantec Consulting Services, say.

A map of Sargento’s planned expansion at full build out.

Sargento has been headquartered in Plymouth since 1965 and the facility has grown from 17,000 square feet to 639,000 square feet. The latest BizTimes Milwaukee cover story documents the company’s three generations of family leadership.

The company now has about 2,075 employees in Wisconsin, including additional facilities in Elkhart Lake, Hilbert and Kiel. Sales offices are also maintained in Ohio, Arkansas and Minnesota.

The Kiel and Elkhart Lake facilities received $30 million in upgrades in recent years. While the Elkhart Lake operation does include some corporate function it is nearly at capacity with no room to expand. Sargento’s plans also call for the development of a “cohesive campus setting.” The plans would impact 2.44 acres of wetlands, but the documents say the impact has been minimized.

“Should expansion at this facility prove impossible for some reason, Sargento would consider relocating their corporate headquarters in coming years, even considering the possibility of moving out of state and losing significant investment in the Plymouth facility location,” the documents say.

Sargento chief executive officer Louie Gentine will be a featured speaker on Thursday morning at BizTimes Media’s annual Family & Closely Held Business Summit at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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