Two years after General Mills shuttered its longtime New Albany manufacturing facility, U.S. distilling company Sazerac Co. announced plans to repurpose the property as a bottling and distribution center.
The family-owned, privately-held company will invest $66 million in the 460,000-square-foot former food plant, located at 707 Pillsbury Lane, according to a news release Wednesday from the Chamber of Commerce One Southern Indiana.
“We’re so pleased we’ve been able to invest in our facilities as we have grown our brands. Extending our manufacturing footprint into Indiana would support future growth,” Jeff Conder, vice president of manufacturing for Sazerac, said in the release. “The business-friendly environment and the proximity of this facility to our three Kentucky plants makes it an ideal location.”
The company is investing more than $1 billion in Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort during the next decade and already has invested $60 million total in its Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown and The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro.
The release did not say what brands would be processed and bottled at the facility. Sazerac owns brands including Eagle Reserve, Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace, Skol, Firefly and Fireball, among numerous others.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has committed to give Sazerac up to $900,000 in tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants. The final amount of incentives awarded will be based on the company’s job creation. The New Albany City Council also is expected to provide some incentives to Sazerac.
“When General Mills announced it would close its doors a couple years ago, we worked hard to help the employees most affected by the news. With Sazerac on the verge of coming to New Albany, I can’t help but marvel at how far we’ve come,” New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said in the release. “Sazerac has a rich and storied past, and I am certain this quality company will be embraced by our community.”
According to the release, Sazerac could start operations at the facility as early as November, with 50 new employees and eventually growing to 110 workers by the end of 2021.
The purchase of the property is expected to close on June 11; the price was not disclosed.
Following General Mills’ shut down, the food company sold the property to New York-based companies New Mill Capital Holdings and Tiger Capital Group for $5 million in 2016. The companies then auctioned off the equipment.