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Weaver Popcorn picks Whitestown for new HQ, production line

February 5, 2014

Weaver Popcorn Co. plans to move its headquarters from Noblesville to the AllPoints at Anson development in Whitestown, where it expects to spend $18 million to add a production line and research-and-development facility.

The 86-year-old family-owned company, which says it supplies 30 percent of the world’s popcorn to more than 60 countries, currently has its corporate offices in Noblesville’s Corporate Campus near Interstate 69.

Its flagship brand, Pop Weaver microwave popcorn, is produced in the northeast Indiana community of Van Buren.

Weaver has told local officials that it intends to relocate 50 corporate employees to Whitestown and add 40 full-time manufacturing jobs paying an average of $22 an hour. Most of the jobs would be added by spring and all the new positions are expected to be filled by early August.

The company is planning to spend $3 million on building improvements to an existing facility in Anson and $15 million on equipment to establish a manufacturing and warehousing operation for its ready-to-eat popcorn products.

The Boone County Economic Development Corp. is recommending a 10-year personal property tax abatement that could save Weaver a total of $1.3 million.
 
Members of the Whitestown Redevelopment Commission and Boone County Economic Development Commission have signed off on the deal, which still must be approved by the Whitestown Town Council and Boone County Commission. Both are scheduled to meet Feb. 18.

The company is slated to take over about 180,000 square feet of space in AllPoints’ Building 14, which was home to ASI Limited’s manufacturing operation until its abrupt closure in 2012. Another tenant will continue to occupy about 40,000 square feet.

“If Weaver does not move forward with the new plant and equipment in Whitestown, it will need to fill demand from another location,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Hamilton said in the abatement application.

Weaver also considered sites in Indianapolis; Fishers; Reno, Nev.; and Chickamauga, Ga.

Boone EDC Executive Director Bryan Brackemyre said a number of factors led the company to Whitestown, including the area’s agricultural roots. And it probably doesn’t hurt that the building overlooks busy Interstate 65, giving Weaver added visibility.

Once the deal is finalized, the company plans to begin installing equipment immediately. The production line should be operational by early May.

Weaver has about 375 full-time employees company-wide. Skilled workers make an average of $20.50 per hour, according to its abatement application. Salaried staff average $32.13 per hour.

In addition to its Weaver-branded products in a variety of flavors, the company sells bulk popcorn for concession stands and fundraising programs.

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