Kraft Heinz announces $114 Million expansion of Columbia Foods plant

The Boone County Commission on July 21 approved the use of Chapter 100 Revenue Bonds to expand and improve the Columbia Foods facility located in Columbia, Missouri.

Kraft is proposing to invest over $100 million to modernize and increase the capacity of the Columbia plant, with an addition as well as new fixtures and equipment for the existing facility.

Kraft officials said the current plant is almost 30 years old and some of the processing equipment is original to the facility. New fixtures and equipment will improve efficiencies and expand. The Columbia plant is one of Kraft’s eight USDA inspected food processing facilities in the U.S. The Columbia facility is the home of Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs, and currently produces up to one million pounds of hot dogs daily.

The company presented an application for Chapter 100 Revenue Bonds to REDI and Boone County. Kraft Heinz asked for real and personal tax abatement of 75% on real and personal property funded via this $100 million expansion project. The Boone County Chapter 100 review Committee heard an in-depth presentation from Kraft and site selection representatives, and analyzed the potential impacts and benefits of the proposal.

Kraft currently has multiple facilities that manufacture hot dogs. If approved, this expansion project will consolidate all hot dog production into the Columbia plant.

REDI officials, who coordinated the Tax District Review Panels, noted that Kraft currently pays approximately $352,000 annually in real and personal property taxes. The Chapter 100 abatement will not apply to the existing plant and equipment, which will continue to be taxed at its full rate. Added to this tax amount will be the taxes Kraft will pay at the incentive rate that applies to only the new facilities and equipment added as part of its $100 million investment. At the end of the 10-year abatement period, tax revenues from the Kraft plant will again increase.

Consolidation of production from Columbia to another plant could have resulted in the loss of this tax revenue and hundreds of quality Boone County jobs at the facility. REDI considers this to be not only an expansion project, but also a critical retention project.

The Boone County Chapter 100 Policy was adopted in 2005 and lays out the process of analyzing Chapter 100 applications. A review committee comprised of representatives of all impacted taxing entities reviews the application and makes a recommendation to the County Commission for approval. To date, only the ABC Laboratories project has been approved by a review committee and the County Commission for Chapter 100 incentives.

Orion Data Centers begins operations in Columbia

Orion Data Centers has begun operations in Columbia, Mo., providing 24/7 computing services for companies in need of a high availability data center.

Owners Kris Knutson and Todd Salazar have partnered to bring several decades of experience in data center operations and IT services. They saw a need and discovered an opportunity when the data center’s former owner moved its online e-commerce data operations at this facility to another location.

“What we have is unique to Columbia and the region,” said Knutson. “ I didn’t want to see this premier facility, designed to deliver 24×7 e-commerce services, be sold as parts on the wholesale market. ”

Orion Data Centers has partnered with several major vendors to offer customers various computing services typically offered only by large scale data centers that small and midsized organizations often find difficult to afford. Orion Data Centers offers customizable services including co-location space, cloud, custom virtualization, disaster recovery and consulting services with all the necessary redundant systems required for reliability.

“We are excited to get the facility up and running ready for customers,” said Knutson. “We were aware a market existed for this type of service in mid-Missouri, and now we’re learning the market is even more widespread. We have already had conversations with businesses in Kansas City and St. Louis that want a disaster recovery facility located outside their respective metro areas.”

“REDI has been marketing Columbia as a location for data centers since 2007, when a consultant report showed that Columbia scored well in the critical areas of cost of power, disaster risk, and labor availability,” said Stacey Button, REDI president. “The new Orion Data Centers represents the vision of several local entrepreneurs that share that same belief. This acquisition allows Orion Data Centers to establish a footprint in Columbia, and then grow by meeting both current and future demands for data center services. “

Nanova Biomaterials Inc. Celebrates Ribbon Cutting

Department of Economic Development (DED) on October 30 joined Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI), the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, local leaders, and friends and colleagues of Nanova Biomaterials, Inc. (NBI), to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new location in Columbia, Mo. The event gave a first look at NBI’s 6,000 sq. ft. $1.5 million facility which includes a research and development lab, production area, and office space. The company is currently expanding its workforce and expects to create up to 50 new jobs within the first five years.

“With more than 3,500 companies making up the state’s bioscience community, this industry continues to be a keystone in the efforts to grow our economy,” said Mike Downing, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “Missouri’s state-of-the-art research centers, incubator facilities, and hospitals, along with a talented workforce help bring more innovations like that of NBI’s from the lab to market.”
Founded in 2007 by a group of four researchers, two of whom are from the University of Missouri, Nanova is an early stage bio technology company that uses nanotechnology to manufacture orthopedic and dental products, such as dental fillings and bone screws. NBI was spun out in 2013 from parent company Nanova Inc., to focus on nanotechnology research which has led to groundbreaking discoveries in the biomaterials industry. Recently approved by the FDA, the company’s StarBright 5% Sodium Fluoride Dental Varnish is now being manufactured at the new facility. As a rapidly growing company with three additional products pending FDA- approval, NBI expects to nearly double the size of its workforce by 2016.
“The establishment of NBI is also a result of an investment of over $7 million lead by SummitView Capital. Besides the support from the University, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Health, Nanova has also been supported by the State, especially the Small Business Technology and Development Center,” said Dr. Li, President of NBI and recipient of the 2009 National Science Foundation Career Award. “Actually our very first grant of $5,000 is a state backed grant, which is how we got started. We highly appreciate the support from local and federal agencies and we are committed to making quality products to serve dentists and doctors and also bring more quality jobs to Missouri.”
“Dr. Hao Li is a great example of a very talented faculty member that is taking his discovery to market,” said Steve Wyatt, Vice Provost for University of Missouri Economic Development. “Dr. Li is now becoming an outstanding entrepreneur with the grand opening of Nanova. At MU, we are so proud of his journey and accomplishment.”
“Today’s ribbon cutting is an important event for Columbia as we continue to build our local economy. The 50 jobs and investment in Nanova Biomaterials, Inc.’s new facility represents the positive economic impact that commercialization of University research can have towards job creation for our community,” said Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid. “NBI further represents the importance of international relationships as much of the investment to support the commercialization of these products has been secured from Chinese investors. The relationship between the company, university, community and China is key to building a strong foundation for continued growth for both NBI and Columbia and we are happy to be a part of this relationship.”
To assist NBI with its expansion, the Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.

Bioscience company cuts ribbon at its new Columbia facility

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) joined Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid and local economic development partners for a grand opening to cut the ribbon on BioPharma Services Inc.’s new Columbia facility, which has created 40 new jobs this year. The event gave a first look at the clinical research company’s new 11,000 square-foot laboratory and clinical facility, an expansion that included a $550,000 capital investment.

“Our quality education system and competitive business climate continue to attract companies like BioPharma Services to the Show-Me State,” said director of DED Mike Downing. “This expansion complements Missouri’s strengths in medical research and bioscience and creates good jobs in an economy that continues to grow.”

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, BioPharma Services is a physician-owned and physician-run Contract Research Organization (CRO) specializing in the conduct of Bioequivalence (BE) Studies and Phase I/IIa clinical trials and bioanalysis for innovative pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. The company’s Columbia location specializes in Phase I/IIa trials investigating novel medicines and in pharmaceutical bioequivalence studies to compare absorbency rates of brand-name approved drugs to that of generic formulations. The Missouri study site is BioPharma’s first location in the U.S., allowing it to improve efficiency and be closer to its customers, whom nearly half are U.S. companies.

“Our new Phase 1 Clinical Research Facility is designed to attract best in class research for innovative and fast pharmaceutical product development,” said Renzo DiCarlo, CEO of BioPharma Services Inc. “We chose Columbia, Missouri, as our preferred location of this state of the art facility due to my positive experience with the Columbia medical community and high technology environment at the University of Missouri and within the State.”

“We are excited to welcome BioPharma Services Inc. to Columbia,” said Bob McDavid, mayor of Columbia. “The health care industry is an important part of Columbia’s economy and this Phase 1 Clinical Trials site adds another element to our growing medical cluster.”

BioPharma’s Columbia facility conducted and completed its first study this summer and just this month, it began two additional studies. The company recruits area residents for the clinical trials and provides compensation for participation. BioPharma’s new clinical facility currently houses 48 medical beds. By 2016, the company expects to nearly double the size of the facility and expand to 100 beds.

“It’s great to see tangible and positive results for our regional economy after many months of hard work by our REDI Staff and state partners,” said Todd Culley, Chair of Regional Economic Development, Inc. “We look forward to our region’s continued success in the bioscience and research field and all the jobs associated with that growth.”

BioPharma announced its Columbia expansion plans last November, projecting the creation of 12 new full-time jobs and significant part-time jobs in 2014. With continued success in its new Missouri facility, BioPharma projects to grow over the next three years and create 40-50 full-time jobs plus part-time positions. BioPharma currently employs 10 full-time and 30 part-time staff.

To assist BioPharma Services, Inc., DED has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.