Michigan packer and distributor Heeren Bros. Inc. will build a new $22 million facility.
The 170,000-square-foot headquarters, warehouse and distribution center will be located in Alpine Township, Mich., said Hal Roy, chief executive officer of Grand Rapids-based Heeren Bros.
Heeren Bros. plans to break ground on the facility in October. The company plans to have the facility LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which recognizes construction that is environmentally friendly.
The new facility will allow Heeren Bros. to consolidate its Grand Rapids headquarters with the company’s two packing and storage facilities and distribution center in Western Michigan.
Heeren Bros. is expected to move into its new facility in August 2013, in time for next season’s apple harvest.
“From an energy and a food-safety standpoint, it will be tremendous,” Roy said. “We’ve been working out of a couple of buildings that are 50 years old.”
Moving to the Alpine Township facility will allow Heeren Bros. to consolidate operations and to add new technology designed to make the company more labor efficient, compliant with new food safety standards and environmentally friendly, Roy said.
Moving into the new facility also should make it easier for Heeren to tap into new markets for its apple packing operation, he said.
The new facility will feature 19% more storage capacity, 15 controlled atmosphere rooms, energy-saving refrigeration equipment and several packing and grading lines with color- and defect-sorting and pre-sort capabilities.
Through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, Heeren manages more than 1,500 acres of orchards and represents more than 75 Michigan grower-shippers.