Request Foods getting state assistance in West Michigan expansion project
Request Foods Inc., a frozen food and foodservice solutions leader, is receiving a boost from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Michigan Strategic Fund Board to expand operations at its Holland, Michigan processing facilities.
Request Foods co-manufactures a variety of food products including custom entrées, side dishes, heat and serve portions and other options for retail, wholesale and foodservice customers. Request Foods currently employs approximately 900 full-time individuals and is one of the Holland area’s largest employers. The expansion will add approximately 200 more jobs.
Request is experiencing increasing demand for its products and plans to expand at four locations in Holland. The plans include: adding further manufacturing capacity at its Greenly Street location; a construction of a cold storage warehouse on Ransom Street; constructing a Ready to Eat (RTE) plant on three parcels of property on Quincy Street and John F Donnelly Street; as well as expanding and upgrading its wastewater pre-treatment plant.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $205 million and create up to 198 jobs. To support the project, the Michigan Strategic Fund has approved the following incentives:
- A $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant;
- An Agriculture Renaissance Zone with an estimated value of $11 million for the RTE facility;
- $6.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to Holland Charter Township for machinery and equipment needed for the RTE facility and the Greenly Street expansion;
- Approval of an Alternative State Essential Services Assessment exemption.
Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in South Carolina. The project supports the regional target industry of agricultural business growth and fosters high-wage skills growth. Request has a long history of stewardship with significant contributions to numerous organizations in the community and beyond.
“Request Foods is excited to continue our history of successful growth in West Michigan, by investing over $200 million during the next few years in four major projects in Holland Charter Township. Our investment is expected to create up to 198 new jobs, with most of our new team members residing in Ottawa County (Holland Township). While we received enticing offers to expand in other states, our commitment to Michigan, coupled with our desire to ensure Holland is recognized as an area of choice to live and work, precipitated our decision to expand locally,” said Request Foods Chief Financial Officer Menaka Abel. “We are grateful for the cooperation we have received from Holland Charter Township, Ottawa County and the State of Michigan officials — along with the support we have received from Lakeshore Advantage and our partners at Warner Norcross + Judd, which enabled us to bring our expansion plans to fruition.
“With God at the forefront of all that we do, Request is relentless in its pursuit to provide quality food products for its customers and dedicated to the stewardship of its people and community.”
The Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone is being brought before the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development for consideration on Nov. 10.
“(The) announcement underscores that Michigan is a food and agriculture powerhouse. Request Foods commitment to significant investment in food processing will serve our production agriculture value chains for decades to come while bringing the latest in food manufacturing technology to the state,” said Gary McDowell, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I appreciate the ongoing partnership of MEDC and Request Foods and I am thrilled to support this project which is slated to bring $205 million of investment and 198 jobs to Michigan.”
Holland Charter Township is supporting the project through the CDBG funds and the Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone, and anticipates approval of a property tax abatement. In addition, the Holland Board of Public Works has offered an economic development incentive valued at $260,000 and West Michigan Works! has offered up to $632,650 in Job Training Assistance to help attract and retain new talent. Lakeshore Advantage, the economic development organization that assists employers with growth opportunities in Ottawa and Allegan counties, connected the company with local resources to support this project.