MEDFORD, OR-Amy’s Kitchen will close on its 50-acre land acquisition from the City of Medford on Aug. 1 and by the end of the month the producer of prepared natural and organic foods will have broken ground for the first phase of an eventual 750,000-sf campus. The development will help the company keep up with growth.Amy’s Kitchen first announced its plan in December, but did not provide much detail. Scott Reed, chief operating officer for the Santa Rosa, CA-based company, tells that the first phase will be a 167,500-sf industrial building that will produce pizza and soup, and 20,000 sf of office space. The facilities are expected to be operational next summer.Eventually, over the course of several years, Reed says the campus will have separate plants constructed for manufacturing frozen products such as the pizza and non-frozen products such as the soup, and each will have its own support warehouse. At the middle of the complex would be an office building and conference center. The project architect is Seattle-based MillerHull.”There won’t be another food plant in the country that will look anything like this,” Reed says. “These guys are one of the premier environmental architecture firms in the country.”Amy’s officials say the company has grown nearly 25% this year and will post annual sales in excess of $100 million. The growth is forcing the expansion sooner than originally anticipated. The new facility in Medford, when built, will initially create about 200 new jobs for the area and, if it sustains its growth rate, could grow to 700 within five years. To win their business, state, regional and local officials put together an incentive package valued at upward of $3 million. In addition, Amy’s Kitchen officials mentioned the state’s relatively low workers’ compensation insurance rates as a significant factor in their decision to relocate. According to Julie Curtis the deputy director for “Brand Oregon,” a program run by the state Economic & Community Development Dept., the government incentives included:

  • Land: Amy’s received a reduced price on their 50-acre view site in White City, which was owned by the City of Medford for economic development purposes. The city readied in partnership with OECDD with Special Public Works Fund monies and other programs that built critical road access and other essential infrastructure. Estimated incentive: $2.5 million.
  • Public Road Infrastructure: Working in partnership with the White City Urban Renewal Agency and Jackson County we leveraged ODOT’s Immediate Opportunity Fund for critical public access road improvements. Estimated incentive: $175,000.
  • Public Waste Water Line Infrastructure: Utilizing our SPWF program and working in partnership with Rogue Valley Sewer Service, we are relocating a large waste water line to assist the company. Estimated incentive: unavailable.
  • Workforce Training: State Strategic Reserve Funds for workforce training for use in partnership with the Workforce Job Council. These funds will leverage a yet-to-be-defined contribution from the workforce council. Estimated incentive: $350,000
  • Technical Assistance: The Governor’s Economic Revitalization staff member (Jeff Griffin who is based in Southern Oregon) has served as the primary liaison with state and local agencies to fast track permits and provide information and other services as required. Estimated incentive: undetermined.
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