Cheese Maker Plans $15M Expansion In Idaho

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Officials with the cheese manufacturer Glanbia Foods announced Friday that it is spending up to $15 million to build a corporate headquarters and innovation center in Twin Falls. The expansion is expected to add 100 jobs when the facility opens in March 2013, with plans to expand to 150.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Officials with the cheese manufacturer Glanbia Foods announced Friday that it is spending up to $15 million to build a corporate headquarters and innovation center in Twin Falls.

The expansion is expected to add 100 jobs when the facility opens in March 2013, with plans to expand to 150.

Glanbia president and CEO Jeff Williams told The Times-News that the city has been talking with the company about the expansion for the past five years.

The plans call for a 35,000-square-foot office complex and a 14,000-square-foot research center. Williams said the center will give employees and customers the chance to research new product ideas.

Glanbia Foods is a division of Ireland-based Glanbia PLC. Company officials say it is the world's largest producer of American-style cheese, shipping more than 830 million pounds a year to nearly 30 countries. Glanbia Foods operates plants in Twin Falls, Gooding and Richfield, as well as a joint venture facility in Clovis, N.M.

"Our plants work at almost full capacity all the time," Williams said. "Which is good, but it doesn't always give you the chance to explore new options. This center is the culmination of the next step of moving the information we've gathered over the years."

The property for the project is owned by the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency but it was expected to be sold to the development company within the next three months. The agency will provide about $800,000 in improvements to the site, according to a city press release.

"This is a big deal for the community," said Melinda Anderson, the city's urban renewal agency director. "It'll bring in an additional 50 to 100 people to work and also help the downtown merchants."

Twin Falls has had success recently encouraging other businesses to expand or relocate in the southern Idaho city. Yogurt company Chobani announced late last year that it was opening a facility there, and earlier this week counterterrorism training firm LMS Defense Inc. announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Twin Falls.

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