New Castle,– Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. is expected to expand its extensive United States’ logistics network upon the closing set for May 20, 2017 for the site of the former AstroPower building, currently owned by Christina School District, located at 300 Executive Drive, Pencader Industrial Park in New Castle with assistance provided by the Delaware Strategic Fund. Last week the Council on Development Finance approved the recommendation for a $259,000 performance grant to create approximately 30 jobs for the site of Del Monte Fresh Produce’s newest and most advanced distribution center, and a three percent (3%) match up to $654,000 for qualified capital expenditures.
Del Monte Fresh Produce will invest approximately $22 million in its new facility and expansion into the Delaware community. “We’re glad that Del Monte Fresh Produce® chose Delaware as the strategic location to expand its operations,” Governor John Carney said. “We’re very much looking forward to seeing the former site of AstroPower repurposed and come alive again, bringing with it new jobs to our state.” “We’re excited to commence our operation in the state of Delaware and tap into the workforce of the most populous county in the state with close proximity to the University of Delaware,” said Paul Rice, Senior Vice President, N.A. Operations. “Delaware is not only an ideal location for our Company to further develop our robust Northeastern operations, but will also give us the ability to provide jobs and growth to the surrounding community.”
“The Christina School District is very pleased that DelMonte Fresh Produce Company will be utilizing the Building at 300 Executive Drive in the Pencader Corporate Center as a manufacturing facility,” said Robert Silber, Christina School District Chief Financial Officer. “This sale will mean a return of this property to the tax rolls, and additional jobs for our community, both of which are positive aspects of Del Monte Fresh Produce’s purchase of the building.”
The new 178,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Pencader Industrial Park will add a key distribution point in the Company’s growing logistics network in North America and especially in the Northeast. The state-of-the-art facility will have an extensive infrastructure for the cutting and production of fresh fruit, vegetables and other food products. When completed the distribution center will, among other things, have a fresh cut fruit, protein salad, and commissary production area, banana and avocado ripening rooms, refrigerated and dry warehouse space, loading docks, and office space. “We want to express our appreciation to all the partners who came together on this project to bring Del Monte Fresh Produce® to Delaware,” said Delaware Economic Development Office Director Bernice Whaley. “Thanks to the collaborative effort a building which has been on the market for nearly a decade will be revitalized and create new manufacturing jobs in our state with the potential to add more.”