A Blue Ash company has acquired 21 acres in Mason where it plans to construct a meat processing plant expected to bring 200 jobs to the area.
Empire Foods purchased the land on Alliance Drive in the industrial business park Lakewood Commerce Center for about $819,000 this week, according to records with the Warren County Auditor’s Office.
The purchase, recorded on Nov. 1, was made by Mason Processing LLC, an affiliate of the company.
Empire, a broker of perishable foods including Kroger’s private label meat, deli, bakery and produce brands, has plans to build a $7 million, 90,000-square-foot manufacturing and packing plant on the parcel, according to city officials.
The plant will expand the company’s capacity to provide case-ready pork production and allow it to expand to case-ready beef production, say officials. Empire currently has similar operations in Springdale.
The project will create 200 jobs within three years of operation, generating an estimated $5 million in annual payroll. Construction is expected to be finished by the end of next year.
The company will invest more than $2.4 million in the community in its first 15 years of operation, including $1.67 million to the Mason School District with additional funds to support an extension of Alliance Drive to the property where the plant is to be built, city officials said.
The project has won city and state tax incentives, including a 15-year property tax abatement to improvements made to the land through the Mason Port Authority.
The plant marks the second light industrial development in Lakewood Commerce Park, near the intersection of Mason-Montgomery and Bethany Roads. Construction of the road will open up an additional 11 acres of light industrial ground within the park, said city officials.
Established in 1980, Empire Foods works with suppliers such as Dole Food Co., Tyson Foods, Inc., Johnsonville Sausage LLC and Oscar Mayer (Kraft Foods Inc.). The company has 16 locations across the country, including offices in Columbus, Louisville and Indianapolis.