Livingston County Development Group (LCDG), a collaboration of more than two dozen organizations dedicated to economic development, is pleased to announce today that Barilla America Inc. and Jacobson Warehouse Company Inc. will open a second U.S. pasta-manufacturing and distribution facility in Avon, New York.
Barilla America — part of the Parma, Italy-based Barilla Group, the largest pasta manufacturer in the world — will invest $87.7 million in the facility, while Jacobson plans to invest $8.5 million. The 300,000 square-foot-facility (including a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and a 200,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution center) will be located on a 49-acre site north of Route 5 & 20 in the village of Avon.
The project, which is scheduled to break ground in June 2006, is expected to start production in June 2007 and create 121 jobs over the next three years.
"We sought a location that felt like a home away from home," said Barilla America President Kirk Trofholz. "Parma, Italy has been our home for almost 125 years, ever since Pietro Barilla opened his small pasta and bread shop. We were looking for a community that would provide the same hometown feel as Parma, as well as the right mix of benefits. We found all of that in Avon."
"We are ecstatic to have a family-owned food company, the world's largest pasta maker, select Avon for this major facility," said Thomas Vonglis, Mayor of the Village of Avon. "Barilla was first attracted to Avon by our food manufacturing infrastructure, a BUILD NOW NY site, ample water, a food grade sewage treatment plant, the railroad and highways, but it was the heart and spirit of this community that closed the deal."
Livingston County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Merrick said, "Today's announcement is the result of the County's 15-year policy and financial commitment to economic development, through the development of BUILD NOW NY sites and collaborative efforts with partners. State Sen. Dale Volker and State Sen. Catharine Young authorized legislation that Governor Pataki signed in April 2005 guaranteeing an Empire Zone for Livingston County. Since then, we've begun redevelopment of the former Foster Wheeler complex, projected to bring 300 jobs — and now Barilla's wonderful news."
Patrick Rountree, managing director of the Livingston County Development Group, said: "We've been to the Super Bowl several times, and this time we won. Our Empire Zone designation made the difference."
Rountree went on to praise the Development Group participants, who worked together toward the common goal of attracting Barilla to Avon. "There was no turf, no politics and no ideas ruled out. It was an astonishing accomplishment."
"This win is the result of the hard work and dedication of our many partners, including Empire State Development Corp., the mayor, the landowners and their technical team, National Grid, Rochester Gas & Electric, Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad, and Greater Rochester Enterprise," Rountree added.
"We are very pleased to have been part of the collaborative effort to bring this significant investment to Livingston County," said Jim Laurito, RG&E's president. "We have a long history of working to ensure that our communities remain competitive and our regional economy remains sound."
"It is always a good day when National Grid can welcome a new manufacturer to Upstate New York," said Marilyn Higgins, Vice President, Economic Development, National Grid. "We are pleased to have been a part of the tenacious team that refused to lose this opportunity for Western New York."
Henry Hansen, principal for the land owner, Livingston Industrial Complex Inc., said that he was very impressed by the team effort that is bringing a world-renowned food manufacturer to Livingston County.
"This is a major win for Avon and Livingston County, New York, and we're excited to be on the team that's making this dream a reality," Hansen said. "Our win-loss record is getting pretty impressive, with Barilla America and Jacobson joining with the Foster Wheeler Complex in Dansville, the American Rock Salt Mine in Groveland, and the Akzo-Nobel Brine Remediation Project in Leicester, as major facilities continue to bring new jobs to Livingston County."
Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad president William D. Burt noted that Barilla is joining a string of food-related industries served by LAL that includes Sweeteners Plus, ADM, Kraft General Foods, Frank Perdue, and Howlett Farms. The evolution of the LA&L into Livingston County's "Food Corridor" has been supported by the railroad's intensive service, aggressive capital investments, and competitive rail connections, said Burt, who looks forward to putting these advantages to work for them.
"Barilla is a world leader in pasta manufacturing. LA&L people will give them the world-class rail service that makes this a great place for food producers to be," Burt said.
Dennis Mullen, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), said the Barilla-Jacobson facility is the perfect example of a collaborative project. "GRE has worked with its economic development partners, including the Livingston County Development Group, in a concerted effort to attract businesses to the Rochester Region," Mullen said. "I'm pleased that Barilla America recognized this Region's skilled workforce, quality of life, as well as accessibility and proximity to its Northeast customers. Livingston County Development Group is to be commended for their excellent work."
"We cannot underestimate the significance of Barilla America's investment to Avon, Livingston County, and to the Rochester/Finger Lakes Region," Rountree said. "This project will inject millions of dollars into the local economy, further strengthen our food and agri-business base, and bring good-paying jobs to our area for generations to come."
For additional information contact:
Patrick Rountree, Managing Director
Livingston County Development Group
Megan Connor Murphy, PR Manager
Dixon Schwabl Advertising