Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Plans for new Graeter's plant in Finance Committee

Ordinances allowing the City to enter into a contract for sale with Graeter's for 4.4 acres of property at Paddock Road and 66th Street in Bond Hill for a new manufacturing facility and to sign a funding agreement to loan the company up to $10 million are currently in Cincinnati City Council's Finance Committee.

Graeter's plans to move its corporate offices from Reading Road to the new $11 million, 28,000-square-foot plant, which will have a larger freezer, loading dock, and blend room.

The move is part of the company's plan to quadruple its ice cream output to 1 million gallons annually and to extend its reach nationally.

As part of the funding agreement, Graeter's would agree to remain in the City for the duration of the 20-year loan, which would be repaid at a rate of 2 percent interest for the first two years and 4 percent interest for the remaining 18 years.

The company would retain 68 jobs and create at least 30 new jobs over the next three years.

To finance the loan, the City would issue economic development bonds.

The acreage, with an estimated fair market value of $300,000, would be sold to Graeter's for $1.

If approved, Graeter's hopes to break ground next month and to begin production at the new facility in January 2010.

The company plans to maintain offices at its current Reading Road facility, which will continue to produce candy and baked goods.

The Finance Committee next meets on April 6.