Sargento to expand Elkhart technical center

Sargento Foods CEO Louie Gentine has announced that the company is finalizing building design and is moving into the construction phase for a major expansion to its existing technical center in Elkhart Lake.

The Elkhart Lake site was one of Sargento Foods’ first facilities, purchased from Elkhart Lake Canning Company in 1956. Sargento Engineering, Research & Development and Culinary departments are now at this location.

“Sargento remains steadfast in our commitment to growing in Wisconsin,” said Louie. “We look forward to expanding our Elkhart Lake facility to support new product innovation and accommodate our growing family of employees.”

When completed, the site will have capacity for up to 140 employees and include additional office space, parking, product development laboratories and a relocated lobby area. Sixty people are assigned to the current building with another 20 people located at other Sargento facilities due to lack of space at the technical center. Planned employee growth from various Sargento departments is expected to fill the expanded Elkhart Lake facility in approximately five years.

Karl Linck, Sargento Foods vice president – engineering, presented the expansion plan to the Elkhart Lake Planning Commission. The plan should provide a quicker retirement of the tax increment district (TID) that was put in place during 2013, with a full build-out of the site two to three years earlier than originally anticipated. Additionally, a TID planned request for the abandonment of the right-of-ways for West Street and the unconstructed portions of Maple and Spring streets will be formalized.

Construction will begin during the second half of 2015 with occupancy expected by early- to mid-2016.

Sargento Foods also operates production facilities in Plymouth, Kiel, and Hilbert.

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