Albanese expanding factory, new warehouse in Hobart
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent April 16, 2011 7:34PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
HOBART — Gummi Bears have been good to Albanese Confectionery Group Inc. and the city of Hobart.
The company announced this week it has signed a three-year lease with Becknell Development at NorthWind Crossings for 31,986-square-feet of warehouse space for its growing business.
The new location is located within a 95,000-square-foot building in Becknell’s 200-acre NorthWind Crossings business park, located at Mississippi Street and 61st Avenue.
This announcement comes a couple weeks after the company’s chief financial officer, Alan Ruddell, appeared before the City Council to announce Albanese is looking to add another 20,400 square feet to its factory and retail store at 5441 E. Lincoln Highway to make more room to manufacture Gummi Bears and have some warehouse space.
The company’s chief engineer, James Dragon appeared before the plan commission Thursday night, when the commission set May 12 as the date for final approval.
“They’re selling lots of Gummi Bears. They need more than just the one expansion,” said Aaron McDermott, president of Latitude Commercial Real Estate, who represented Albanese in the transaction with Becknell.
McDermott said Albanese chose the NorthWind location because of its proximity to Interstate 65 and its current manufacturing facility on U.S. 30.
Dragon said the candy company had been leasing space at the former 81 Lumber building at Grand Boulevard and U.S. 30 for storage, but moved out of there and will be at the Becknell site. He said he did not know if they would remain at the Becknell site once the addition is completed.
He told the commission about 35 new employees will be hired once the addition is completed, but said after the meeting there is no hiring associated with the warehouse facility.
The company now employs about 150 to 170 people altogether, Ruddell said.
Dragon said the company is anxious to break ground on the addition in early June and hopes to begin production there before the first of the new year.
Albanese, formed in 1983, has a third location, a store at 1910 W. U.S.30. Latitude Commercial is a full service commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in Northwest Indiana and the south Chicago suburbs.