Kansas Project Watch
According to an analysis of the activities of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, the first half of 2005 saw the creation of 997 new jobs, including new projects or expansions from
Contract pharmaceutical company Midland Pharmaceuticals is making one such investment, starting with 17 people but planning to add more at its 200,000-sq.-ft. (18,580-sq.-m.) R&D, distribution, office and manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Kan. The project saw help from the Board of Public Utilities, which not only gave the company a five-year discount rate to start, but has helped improve efficiencies and power consumption at the nascent operation.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer Hospira this summer sought $100 million in industrial revenue bonds to support a $60-million expansion in the City of McPherson and further expansion over the next few years. The company just completed a $75-million, 500,000-sq.-ft. (46,450-sq.-m.) project that, like Midland's in KCK, awaited FDA approval before full roll-out. This new project will add 75 new jobs to an 800-person payroll.
Schwan's Food Co. is investing $15.9 million in a 105,000-sq.-ft. (9,755-sq.-m.) pizza plant expansion in Salina, some 2.5 hours west of K.C. at the juncture of I-70 and I-135. The facility will have a 6-million-pizza capacity, and will consolidate freezer storage from facilities in Wichita and Kansas City. The company's Salina operations employ 1,850.
OfficeMax will employ 40 at the start but eventually 150, at a new 180,000-sq.-ft. (16,722-sq.-m.) regional distribution facility in Edwardsville, on the K.C. metro outskirts. The center replaces a smaller facility in Kansas City.
Building materials distributor Wausau Supply Co. is investing $8 million in a 300,000-sq.-ft. (27,870-sq.-m.) distribution center at New Century AirCenter in Gardner, in southern Johnson Co. "Kansas City's central location and excellent highway and rail access was key in selecting the region for our new distribution center," said Wausau Supply President Ron Klimisch. "This new facility will allow us to distribute products faster and more efficiently to our growing customer market."
In Ulysses, Grant County, in far southwestern Kansas, St. Louis-based North American Bioenergy Resources will employ approximately 100 people at a new ethanol plant that will produce some 100 million gallons a year. It will join the 10 other ethanol plants that are either operating or under development elsewhere in the state.
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