Food packager plans to build a new plant, add jobs on the South Side
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a deal involving city-owned land that would result in a new facility for Harvest Food Group.
A food packaging company will move its operations and expand at a vacant New City industrial site in a deal involving city-owned property, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.
Harvest Food Group will build a $60 million facility at 1924 W. 46th St., a blocklong site the city has controlled since 2006. The company will move from Archer Heights and plans to add about 50 jobs to its current production staff of 200, city officials said.
“After years of neglect behind a chain-link fence, this site is finally getting the rejuvenation it deserves,” Lightfoot said in a news release. “This exciting project will reinforce Chicago’s reputation as the nation’s leader in food production. It also demonstrates Harvest Food Group’s desire to continue providing employment opportunities to Southwest Side residents and revitalizing the communities they call home.”
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Terms of the land deal could be finalized this summer and require City Council approval. City officials said Harvest Food will widen part of Damen Avenue, an estimated $2 million expense, and provide public green space along Wolcott Avenue and 46th Street.
The company would get the land, appraised at $3.5 million, for $1 to account for expected costs of environmental work and public improvements, officials said.
Harvest Food plans to build a 220,000-square-foot operation with parking for more than 150 vehicles. Headquartered in Naperville, the company produces entrees, side dishes and specialty items.
The operation will move from 4412 W. 44th St. In a statement issued by the mayor’s office, founder and CEO Jason Eckert said the company is thrilled to remain in Chicago and to grow.
The project will add local jobs and “eliminate an unsafe blighted eyesore,” said Craig Chico, CEO of the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council.