From vacant to vibrant
Size of project: 200,000 sq ft
Capital expenditure: $3.23 million
Expected job creation: 25
In early 2018, Lake Country Foods closed its 200,000-square-foot, 100-year-old plant in Oconomowoc. Vacant industrial buildings tend to have a negative impact on adjacent parts of the community.
The Waukesha County Center for Growth worked with the City of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and other partners to assist a Missouri-based ownership group interested in acquiring the vacant plant.
The principals of Osage Food Products (OFP) in Washington, Missouri were familiar with the idle plant, which specialized in agglomeration of powdered food products, such as malt, cocoa mixes and others. Local officials and the Center for Growth aided in permitting, utility connections and referrals to vendors, contractors and potential sources of financing.
OFP Ingredients purchased the plant in late 2018 and is in the process of major renovations which will bring the facility up to current food-grade production standards. While much of the equipment left in the building is reusable, OFP is investing millions in upgrading the process equipment.
The Center for Growth continues to work with OFP on additional sources of capital to assist the project and will assist in addressing workforce needs when the company is ready. OFP will start production of powdered food ingredients in 2019. The company anticipates 25 jobs will be created as production ramps up.
The Center for Growth and local partners welcome the opportunity to work with OFP Ingredients to bring a vacated facility back to production.