HARIBO of America has announced that it has selected Gilbane Building Co. to oversee the construction of its gummi-production campus in Pleasant Prairie.
The German candy-maker said in 2017 that it would build its first production factory in North America in the Kenosha County village. The company had then picked the Wisconsin location because of its proximity to Chicago, access to transportation and the region’s school system.
With Gilbane serving as the project’s general contractor, work could get underway on the factory later this year. HARIBO intends to build a 487,000-square-foot production complex on 136.8 acres near Interstate 94 in the village.
The project includes plans for a three-story factory with an attached two-story office building. It also calls for the construction of an 87,000-square-foot one-story warehouse, as well as various utility buildings.
“HARIBO’s commitment to quality, excellence and joy makes it precisely the kind of company we want and can well support in Wisconsin,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. “The company is a perfect fit with our food production tradition, and joins an enviable roster of iconic consumer brands that call Wisconsin home.”
Former Gov. Scott Walker reached a deal in 2017 with HARIBO to provide the company with as much as $21 million in state tax incentives if the company meets various benchmarks. That came before the state signed a separate deal with Foxconn Technology Group that pledged billions in state money for a manufacturing complex the company said would be worth $10 billion.
Much of Foxconn’s initial promises have yet to pan out, and state officials declined earlier this month to grant any tax credits to Foxconn.
In contrast, HARIBO has spent the past several years renegotiating its tax incentive deal with state officials. The company did not close on a purchase of the factory site until earlier this year.
Under its current deal with the state, HARIBO would need to hire 375 workers, spend $220 million on construction and spend $200 million with Wisconsin suppliers by 2028 to earn state tax credits.
Pleasant Prairie officials approved plans for HARIBO’s manufacturing factory earlier this year. The company hired Mead & Hunt, of Middleton, to design the project.
The planned factory joins various other large developments that have cropped up along I-94 in Kenosha County in recent years. The packaging giant Uline has built about 5 million square feet of space in Pleasant Prairie since moving to Wisconsin in 2010. Amazon has also built a large distribution facility across the interstate.
“Kenosha County is pleased to be the future home of HARIBO’s production facility,” said Jim Kreuser, Kenosha County executive. “A company like HARIBO, with its manufacturing legacy and engagement as an outstanding corporate citizen, is already an important part of our community. Kenosha County looks forward to becoming an integral part of the next chapter in HARIBO’s story.”