About a month after its ceremonial groundbreaking, Ocean Spray has actually begun to move the earth to prepare its 44-acre site near Schantz Road for a $110 million, 315,000 square feet bottling plant.
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, with the help of a $4.5 million incentive package from the state, lured the juice maker away from its existing plant in Bordentown, New Jersey to Upper Macungie.
“We gave our best shot to keep them here,” Mayor James Lynch of Bordentown City told Phillyburbs.com. “We will make lemonade out of lemons is the best way to put it.”
Another business lured to Upper Macungie by $4 million in tax incentives, , closed in March after failing to make a profit.
Ocean Spray, however, brings 80 years of business experience with it, as well as 165 jobs, according to the company.
“Our agricultural roots run deep at Ocean Spray and we are excited to bring good jobs and a commitment to corporate citizenship to the Lehigh Valley community,” said Ocean Spray President and CEO Randy Papadellis. “We hope to grow at the Lehigh Valley facility and we are very pleased that Upper Macungie and the Commonwealth have partnered with us and welcomed Ocean Spray as a neighbor.”
The new facility is supposed to open in September of 2013.
Ocean Spray plans to pursue a Gold LEED certification for the building, according to a press release. Beginning with the first shovel that hits the ground, Ocean Spray says it ensure that it is using environmentally friendly methods and materials to build the facility and manage construction waste. The modern facility will also enable Ocean Spray to conserve energy through greater efficiencies and smart building designs, such as a planned high-tech HVAC system.
During the transition from the New Jersey to Upper Macungie, Ocean Spray will offer its Bordentown City employees relocation packages.
“We are proud to have helped cultivate a highly engaged and motivated workforce at Bordentown, which is why we hope many of our Bordentown employees will be able to relocate to our Lehigh Valley facility,” said Papadellis.