Nestle is undertaking a $20-million expansion of its Cleveland manufacturing plant and is planning a major research facility in Solon, OH, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Public officials and executives from the Swiss company broke ground last week for a two-story, 75,000-square-foot expansion at the L.J. Minor plant. The plant, in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, churns out food bases (called “flavor solutions”) for national chain restaurants and distributors across the United States and Canada.
In Solon, Nestle could add 40 to 60 jobs if it builds a new global research and development operation for its frozen-foods business. The company already employs 1,947 people in Solon at facilities including a plant that makes Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine frozen meals.
The Cleveland facility opened in 1951 as L.J. Minor Corp. and became part of Nestle in 1986. The manufacturing plant employs 210. The expansion is expected to be completed in early 2013. Nestle reportedly is offering to buy houses and residential lots to the east of the plant to facilitate continued growth of the facility.
Tracey Nichols, Cleveland’s economic development director, told the Plain Dealer the city is working with Nestle on the land-bank deals and is providing a $250,000 forgivable loan to the company for acquisition and construction of parking.
In Solon, Nestle wants to expand its local and regional research facility, which employs 80 people, to an international scale. The company has 29 such global facilities, which typically cost $50 million to $60 million to build, spokeswoman Roz O’Hearn said. The project would involve a new building on 18 acres near Cannon Road and Hawthorn Parkway.