Haribo of America Inc. plans to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Pleasant Prairie, describing it as “one of the largest facilities in the confectionery industry.”
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The Village of Pleasant Prairie is planning to purchase 458 acres from Abbott Labs to create the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park. Haribo of America plans to build a 500,000-square-foot plant there.[/caption]
The Rosemont, Illinois-based subsidiary of German gummy bear maker Haribo
announced the decision Thursday. Gov. Scott Walker and other officials also discussed the project at a press conference in Madison. The $242 million project will support 400 jobs. The roughly 500,000-square-foot facility will be located in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park, west of Interstate 94 between Highways 165 and 50. Construction is expected to begin in 2018 with production starting in 2020.
The village of Pleasant Prairie is in the process of acquiring
458 acres from Illinois-based Abbott Labs for $37.5 million to create the new business park.
“Haribo has already been in the process of selecting a location for a first manufacturing facility in the USA for several years. In an elaborate process, we have examined many different sites. We are very excited to announce this important decision today,” said Rick LaBerge, chief operating officer of Haribo of America Inc.
The company hasn't determined which specific product lines will be produced at the facility, Keith Danoff, Haribo vice president of marketing, said in an email.
Walker praised the company’s decision, saying the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. had worked with local, county and regional officers to meet the company’s needs.
Mark Hogan, WEDC secretary, said the agency has held discussions with the company over the last six months and plans to provide an incentive package, but a final contract had not yet been signed.
“As a global company with products that are loved by millions, and a legacy that dates back nearly a century, Haribo is a great fit with the many other iconic companies that already call Wisconsin home. The state’s business-friendly climate and strong fiscal management, along with our dedicated workforce and reliable infrastructure, are among the many reasons Haribo decided Wisconsin was the right choice for this facility,” Walker said.
The governor’s office said the facility would be one of the largest investments in new operations by an overseas company in the state’s history. He also said the company's jobs will be "above market" with a full benefit package.
“This is a sweet day for Kenosha County," said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. "Haribo’s decision to invest in our community and make this the location for their first U.S. production facility will have a tremendous impact on our county and our state. We are incredibly excited about this investment and the long term positive impact it will have on our entire area and residents.”
Jim Paetsch, Milwaukee 7 vice president for corporate relocation, expansion and attraction, said the project will be a "game changer for the state and the region."
"We think it just says volumes about the assets that are here," he said. "To be able to attract an investment like that from a company that had no presence at all in our state, we couldn't be more happy."