Aunt Millie’s Bakeries to build distribution, retail center in Merrillville
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent February 5, 2013 9:00PM
Updated: March 7, 2013 6:39AM
MERRILLVILLE — Fort Wayne-based Aunt Millie’s Bakeries is seeking to build a 125,025-square-foot food distribution and retail building at East 69th Avenue and Mississippi Street, a spokesman for the company said Tuesday.
Aunt Millie’s has seven bakeries in three states. The company produces bread and other bakery products, according to its web site.
The new building will replace two existing distribution centers, resulting in the transfer of 30 existing employees along with the hiring of 25 additional workers, Gary Torrenga of Munster-based Torrenga Engineering told the Plan Commission at its workshop session.
Torrenga had little information concerning the design of the building, saying more details will be available at the commission’s next regular meeting on Feb. 19. Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, said he doesn’t want to see a prefabricated steel building located along Interstate 65.
The company is requesting a preliminary subdivision approval for two lots on 4.23 acres. Torrenga said the building will be on one lot, with the second lot remaining vacant for now. He said a maintenance building may be constructed in the future.
The proposal received a warm reception from plan commission and town council members, including Pettit, whose ward would include the business.
“Once Aunt Millie’s goes in, I would hope it will jump-start other activity,” Pettit said.
Zoning director Dorinda Gregor said the company couldn’t put a sign on Mississippi Street, but Pettit said if Aunt Millie’s wants one there, he would encourage the Board of Zoning Appeals to approve a variance for one.
“If a company brings in a 125,000-square-foot building and 55 jobs, we can give them a sign,” Pettit said.
The company also needs to get a variance for having loading docks that will front East 69th Avenue and approval from the landscape committee.
Torrenga wasn’t sure when the company planned to break ground, but said it probably will be this spring or summer.