Agribusiness  March 8, 2016

Leprino submits prelim plans for third phase of plant buildout in Greeley

GREELEY — Denver-based Leprino Foods Co. has submitted preliminary plans for the third phase of its plant buildout at 1302 1st Ave. in Greeley.

The third phase would cap the development project that was started in 2010 to eventually build an 880,000-square-foot plant run by nearly 600 employees.

The maker of cheese and whey products has nine manufacturing plants in the United States and a joint-venture with Glanbia Cheese Ltd. in the United Kingdom. It sells products to customers in more than 40 countries. The company claims it is the largest producer of mozzarella cheese in the world.

According to documents recently submitted to the city, phase 3 would include the construction of four silos — two for raw milk and two for skim milk — “to allow Leprino Foods Co. to increase production to meet market demand.”

Leprino would expand warehouse space and the processing area, and add two truck-receiving bays. It also would expand locker rooms and break areas for additional employees. Plans did not reveal square footage of the expansion.

Company spokeswoman Erin Brozena said Leprino currently employs 430 people in Greeley and would add about 150 more jobs when phase 3 is completed.  Leprino has more than 4,000 employees companywide.

Leprino Foods began making cheese in Greeley in 2011, employing 100 people when phase 1 of the buildout was completed at the site of the former Western Sugar Factory. When phase 2 was completed in late 2012, Leprino hired 200 more workers.

Mike Reidy, Leprino Foods’ senior vice president of corporate affairs, said in an email that the company recently asked the city of Greeley for an extension of a development agreement that was put in place in 2008. On Feb. 16, the Greeley City Council approved extending a 50 percent sales- and use-tax waiver through 2018 assessed upon construction materials, manufacturing and processing equipment, computer hardware and machinery installation in connection with phase three. That would amount to about $200,000, assistant city manager Becky Safarik said during the meeting. The next phase of sales- and use-taxes is expected to net Greeley, after the waiver, more than $1 million in new sales- and use-tax proceeds. Safarik said Leprino is also receiving tax-increment financing help from the city, which also was approved in 2008.

“We have always intended, and are committed, to building a third phase of the Greeley plant,” Reidy wrote. “We do not have a definite time frame for this third-phase project. However, we do want to ensure we have in place all the needed paperwork.”

Editor’s note: Employee numbers were added to this story March 9.

 

GREELEY — Denver-based Leprino Foods Co. has submitted preliminary plans for the third phase of its plant buildout at 1302 1st Ave. in Greeley.

The third phase would cap the development project that was started in 2010 to eventually build an 880,000-square-foot plant run by nearly 600 employees.

The maker of cheese and whey products has nine manufacturing plants in the United States and a joint-venture with Glanbia Cheese Ltd. in the United Kingdom. It sells products to customers in more than 40 countries. The company claims it is the largest producer of mozzarella cheese in…

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