North Bay Produce opened the company's new $5.7 million, 36,448-square foot, regional refrigerated warehouse facility at MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois, with plans to create 90 jobs.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office said the warehouse facility can hold more than 1.3 million pounds of refrigerated products. Imported products will arrive at the airport from producers all over the world.
"North Bay's decision to locate its global distribution facility at MidAmerica Airport reinforces the Metro East's role as a key transportation hub to the world," Governor Quinn said. "Our goal is to make Illinois the inland port of the nation, and we remain committed to ensuring the Metro East continues to play a vital role in our economic growth."
The company's expansion to MidAmerica Airport is a key step in its plans to open the Asian trade lane that is integral to the company's future growth. The fresh produce marketing and distribution company will serve as the new anchor tenant for the airport's international trade route linking the Americas with Asia.
"With this new state-of-the-art facility, the international reach this site brings to the business model, and the opportunity to be in this great Midwest area, I know we found in MidAmerica Airport the best new home for our expansion," noted Mark Girardin, president of North Bay Produce. "This new location will allow our quality product to maintain the freshest, quickest-to-market character at a great value, and we're excited to get our operations here up and running."
North Bay Produce, Inc. is an international, grower-owned, year-round, fresh produce marketing and distribution cooperative, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan. Its multi-year search for an additional central United States location with great logistics ingredients led North Bay to MidAmerica Airport.
St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern said, "Illinois and St. Clair County are truly enhanced by North Bay's decision to locate at MidAmerica, and we welcome them as the anchor tenant for our international cargo operations. A large portion of the product they will handle at MidAmerica flies, and we look forward to hosting their worldwide air activity and supporting their operations here as they grow their company."
According to St Clair County officials, the new warehouse is a result of a partnership agreement between North Bay and St. Clair County's Public Building Commission, which operates MidAmerica St. Louis Airport on behalf of St. Clair County. The agreement calls for St. Clair County to give the firm the refrigeration equipment it already owned and $2.15 million to the facility. At the end of the 15-year initial lease, the $5.7 million building will be entirely owned by the airport. The lease includes two four-year extensions.