Frozen food processor Request Foods Inc. will invest $205 million to expand its operations in Holland Charter Township, MI. The expansion will help the company meet rising demand while diversifying its products and services. Request Foods is one of the area’s largest employers, and the company plans to add up to 198 jobs to its current workforce of 900 full time workers.
“Request Foods is excited to continue our history of successful growth in West Michigan, by investing over $200 million during the next few years in four major projects in Holland Charter Township. Our investment is expected to create up to 198 new jobs, with most of our new team members residing in Ottawa County (Holland Township),” said Request Foods Chief Financial Officer Menaka Abel. “While we received enticing offers to expand in other states, our commitment to Michigan, coupled with our desire to ensure Holland is recognized as an area of choice to live and work, precipitated our decision to expand locally. We are grateful for the cooperation we have received from Holland Charter Township, Ottawa County and the State of Michigan officials – along with the support we have received from Lakeshore Advantage and our partners at Warner Norcross + Judd, which enabled us to bring our expansion plans to fruition.”
The expansion features four components, including an $81 million expansion planned for Request Foods’ existing 300,000-square-foot facility located at 12875 Greenly St. The facility was constructed in 2011 as the company’s second production plant. The new expansion will add further manufacturing capacity for family-sized and bulk meal production, opening up an expected 110 new positions.
Request Foods also plans to expand its warehousing capabilities with 157,000 square feet of additional cold storage space, with the potential for an additional 100,000 square feet. The space will store finished product, and the company hopes to make it available by the third quarter of 2022. The warehousing portion of the expansion will cost around $43 million.
The company is also planning a new production plant for ready-to-eat (RTE) meals. Request Foods is currently assessing its needs for the project, but it plans to lease an existing warehouse space on a nearby parcel. To create the RTE facility, Request Foods would renovate the existing warehouse space and construct a production facility to go along with it. This amounts to $35 million in equipment and machinery in addition to the $39 million for construction.
The company also plans to invest $7 million into expanding and upgrading its wastewater treatment system that was constructed in 2011.
To support the project, the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approved an incentive package that defrays more than $10 million in costs associated with the expansion:
- A $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant;
- An Agriculture Renaissance Zone with an estimated value of $11 million for the RTE facility;
- $6.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to Holland Charter Township for machinery and equipment needed for the RTE facility and the Greenly Street expansion;
- Approval of an Alternative State Essential Services Assessment exemption.
The company also considered sites in South Carolina before choosing to expand in Michigan, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).
“Congratulations to the team at Request Foods on your significant growth and success. We appreciate this continued commitment to our state and our workforce, and we look forward to working together to grow and add jobs for Michigan residents in the future,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We’re pleased to work with Lakeshore Advantage and our other local partners as we send the message that we are working to build a championship economy in the Holland region and throughout Michigan.”
The project supports the regional target industry of agricultural business growth and fosters high-wage skills growth.
Lakeshore Advantage, the economic development organization that assists employers with growth opportunities in Ottawa and Allegan counties, helped connect the company with local resources to support the project.
“We were able to come alongside Request Foods as an extended member of their team on this expansion project, understand their growth milestones, and deploy state and local resources to support their expansion in Holland Charter Township,” said Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens. “We are pleased to support Request Foods through their expansion process and commend their commitment to West Michigan.”
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