Dawn Foods moving into Ameriplex at Crossroads in Merrillville
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent January 23, 2013 10:34AM
Updated: February 24, 2013 6:26AM
MERRILLVILLE — The Town Council on Tuesday approved 10-year real and personal property tax abatements for Dawn Foods, which plans to begin construction this spring on a $15 million to $20 million cold storage distribution facility at the Ameriplex at the Crossroads complex.
The new building marks a consolidation for the Jackson, Mich.-based company, which will close its Crown Point and Munster facilities.
Dawn Foods, a supplier of commercial food service products for bakery owners and bakery management, will bring the approximately 72 employees at the two sites to Merrillville along with adding six to 10 new employees, said Derith Jarvis, director, research and site selection, for Dallas-based Mohr Partners Inc.
Mohr brokered the deal along with Commercial In-Sites of Merrillville.
Jarvis said the new building will be about 120,000 square feet, which is the same size as the Crown Point facility, at 1300 E. Summit St.
Larry Mudd, partner/vice president of development for Holladay Properties, which developed the 386-acre Ameriplex planned mixed-use development, said the Dawn facility will take up about 13 acres in the middle of the park.
He said more than 100 acres were still undeveloped at the Ameriplex, located off Interstate 65 and 93rd Avenue.
“We’re superexcited about this project. Dawn Foods will be a fantastic tenant,” Mudd said.
Jarvis said the new building is a 15- to 17-year reinvestment by Dawn Foods, providing a more technologically advanced facility than its current buildings.
David Lasser, owner and principal broker of Commercial In-Sites, said the Crown Point facility was sold to Van Drunen Farms in late December. The Munster facility, at 215 45th Ave., is being leased, he said.
In other action, the council retained several attorneys, including Town Council attorney John Bushemi.
It also granted the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries special exception approval to locate its church in a suite at 7870 Broadway, with the stipulation it is for this use, location and petitioner only and that it be reviewed in six months to determine if there is still adequate parking. The church has about 35 parishioners.
Matt Lake, executive director of Stormwater Utility, said all but one piece of stormwater department equipment has been moved off of former board president Bud Crist’s property. He said that piece was behind several large items that needed to be moved first.
Lake said he will notify Councilman Tom Goralczyk, D-4th, when the last piece is moved, as Council President Carol Miano, D-3rd, requested.
Crist was replaced on the board at the last council meeting after several council members expressed concern that some town equipment was stored at his property.