Sazerac Plans to Invest $66 Million to Turn Empty Dough Plant into Whiskey Bottling Line

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The Sazerac Company, parent company of brands like Buffalo Trace Distillery, Barton 1792 Distillery, A. Smith Bowman Distillery and Glenmore Distillery has announced its intention to purchase a 455,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The facility is located in New Albany, Indiana and was home to General Mill’s Pillsbury dough making operations from 1959 until it closed in 2016. The plant has sat vacant ever since.

“We’re excited about the possibility of expanding our operations into Southern Indiana. Our contacts at the State of Indiana, the City of New Albany and the local economic development organization, One Southern Indiana, have been great partners to work with throughout this process. If all goes well, we look forward to getting our construction underway at the new facility, then on to staffing and running our new plant,” said Jeff Conder, Vice President of Manufacturing for Sazerac Co.

Sazerac Offered $1,050,000 in Incentives

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The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has offered Sazerac up to $900,000 in conditional Economic Development for a Growing Economy (“EDGE”) tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants from the Skills Enhancement Fund based on the company’s job-creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Indiana workers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

“Indiana’s business-friendly environment and skilled workforce offer companies like Sazerac the perfect recipe for continued success,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). “We’re excited to welcome Sazerac to the Hoosier state as it establishes its first facility here, increasing its manufacturing footprint and creating good jobs in southeast Indiana.”

$66 Million Deal is Pending a Vote from City Council

The New Albany City Council is scheduled to vote on final approval of the company’s local incentives next week, with the $66 million project contingent upon the council’s approval. Should incentives be granted, Sazerac anticipates starting operations as early as November of this year with a staff of approximately 50 new employees.  By the close of 2021, Sazerac estimates the 460,000-square-foot former food plant could be at full capacity and fully staffed with 110 workers in total. The company intends to start with two production lines upon opening.

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said, “I would like to welcome the Sazerac team to New Albany with a pledge to support their efforts to put down roots here and prosper along with us. Sazerac has a rich and storied past, and I am certain this quality company will be embraced by our community. We are excited, and we expect that this will be the beginning of a long and prosperous friendship between Sazerac and the City of New Albany.”

Sazerac has grown significantly over the past several years and has invested heavily in its manufacturing network, including large investments in its three plants in Kentucky. Its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort is undergoing a $1.2 billion investment over the next ten years, including new mash cookers, bottling lines and barrel warehouses. The company’s Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown completed a $15 million distillery and grain drying upgrade in 2017, and The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro completed a $45 million addition in 2016 with a new state-of-the-art distribution center.

“We’re so pleased we’ve been able to invest in our facilities as we have grown our brands. Extending our manufacturing footprint into Indiana will support future growth,” added Conder. “The business-friendly environment and the proximity of this facility to our three Kentucky plants make it an ideal location.”

Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of One Southern Indiana said, “1si is always excited when a company of Sazerac’s prestige and success considers expanding in Southern Indiana. This will be a double shot of good news – it not only benefits our region by creating over 100 new jobs, but also because the company is willing to make a significant investment in an existing building that has sat unoccupied for nearly two years.” Chesser continued, “We wish Sazerac all the best and stand ready to assist them in the future.”

Facility projected to bring up to 110 jobs to area

Pending local incentive approval, the purchase is expected to be completed June 11th. The purchase price is not being disclosed. A 2016 press release showed the roughly 35 acre property, building and a large portion of the equipment was sold to a joint venture of New Mill Capital Holdings and Tiger Group. According to a 2016 story from Insider Louisville, “The companies purchased the plant and equipment for $5 million, according to the Floyd County Auditor’s office.” Much of the equipment was later sold at auction.

Drone View of 455,000 Square Foot Future Sazerac Bottling Facility

Here’s the detail from the real estate listing. Louisville – Rail Served 34.5 Acres & 455,000 Square Feet Zoned for I-1a, I-1b and Light Industrial Consisting of 220,000 sqft of Production, 136,000 sqft Warehouse, 96,000 sqft Packaging Department, 11,000 sqft of Office Space, (29) Docks, (1) Drive-In, (47) Trailer Drops, Wet and Dry System, Fully Fenced and Gated, External Surveillance.

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