ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Ocean Spray broke ground Tuesday on a new $110 million juice bottling plant outside Allentown, which will replace its aging plant in Bordentown, N.J.
Officials from Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. and Pennsylvania's economic development agency participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the 315,000-square-foot plant in Upper Macungie Township.
Ocean Spray says the plant, which will employ 165 workers when it opens in September 2013, will bottle its own juices as well as Nestle's Juicy Juice products.
The company said it decided to move to Pennsylvania rather than renovate the Bordentown plant because of lower utility and transportation costs and better access to infrastructure and the supply chain. Officials said the new facility it needs could not be built at the current site. The factory's 250 employees will have to decide whether to move with the company or find new jobs.
The announcement of the move almost a year ago underscored concerns in New Jersey about the cost of doing business there and drew criticism from public officials who said they were led on a wild-goose chase to find ways to keep Ocean Spray in the state. Gov. Chris Christie has made strengthening the state's business climate a central theme of his administration
Ocean Spray, headquartered in Lakeville, Mass., said last year that the Bordentown facility, one of its eight plants, produced 32 million cases of juice beverages every year.