The city of Lebanon is hoping to lure a $149 million cold storage warehouse project to the city’s business park with the promise of nearly $10 million in financing incentives.
Netherlands-based NewCold, an advanced cold storage logistics company, is considering a 55-acre parcel along Council Drive in the Lebanon Business Park as a potential location for its new 384,300-square-foot warehouse. The planned automated cold storage facility would cost about $99 million to build and another $50 million to equip, according to Boone County Economic Development Executive Director Molly Whitehead, who is hoping a $9.8 million developer-backed bond issuance can persuade the company to choose Lebanon.
“This is not a done deal,” Whitehead said. “This bond issuance is very much a key component of that deal being completed. NewCold is also relying on customer contracts, as well, and needs all the pieces to fit into place before making a formal announcement.”
Should NewCold choose to build its automated warehouse in Lebanon, the project could create about 150 jobs paying an average wage of $30 per hour. Whitehead said those wages are $10 per hour more than the area’s current average, and the facility could help drive additional development interest in the area.
Whitehead said there aren’t many deals of this magnitude that come to Boone County. The Lebanon City Council had its first review of the proposed deal on Monday and will consider formalizing the offer at its next meeting, on Nov. 23.
“This is the largest deal we’ve seen in recent times,” Whitehead said. “We’re anxious for it to come to fruition.”
Representatives from NewCold were not available for comment on the project.
NewCold’s current global network includes eight locations on three continents, with a total workforce of around 800 employees. The company has two other cold-storage facilities in the United States, one in Tacoma, Washington, and the other in Burley, Idaho.
The $90 million, 180,000-square-foot facility in Burley was completed in 2019 and has more than 100 employees. The 14-story facility used 25,000 tons of steel in construction. French fry maker McCain Foods is NewCold’s largest customer at the facility.
Because the facility is capable of storing foods at sub-zero temperatures, automated handling equipment is used where possible.
Whitehead said NewCold’s facility would help make Lebanon a competitive and attractive market for new food manufacturing companies.