Aurora Organic Dairy plans manufacturing facility for Sutter Industrial site

On February 6, 2017, the Columbia City Council unanimously approved the Purchase and Sale Agreement of the city-owned Missouri state certified Sutter Industrial Site to AOD-MO Holdings, LLC. Affiliates of AOD-MO Holdings, LLC are the leading producers of store-brand organic milk and butter for U.S. retailers and is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.

With this purchase and capital investment, AOD-MO Holdings, LLC will construct an approximately 80,000 square foot dairy processing facility including warehouse distribution of their product. The first phase of the project will include a capital investment of $89 million in building and equipment. It will also create 100 or more full-time positions that pay an average wage above the Boone County average wage of $36,225/annually (plus benefits). The project includes plans for an expansion anticipated within the first five years of operation that would bring an additional $50 million capital and add an additional 40 or more full-time positions.

The sale will fulfill the City Council’s direction in 2010 to sell the Sutter Industrial Site for economic development purposes of job creation, capital investment, and positive fiscal impact on City utility services. It will also meet the City’s Strategic Plan initiatives for the purpose of creating living wage jobs.

The ordinance introduced January 17 outlined the terms and conditions between the City and AOD-MO Holdings, LLC, including the purchase price of $2,035,600 and related contingencies in order to close on the purchase of the land following the due diligence period outlined in the agreement. This project and the negotiated purchase price was the result of a competitive site search that included several states, several communities within Missouri, or possible expansion of their existing facility in Colorado.

The facility will be a three-shift operation, running 24 hours/seven days a week and will be a significant customer of the City of Columbia’s electric, water and sewer utility services.

On April 19, 2010, the City of Columbia purchased 100 acres of the Sutter Industrial Site as a buffer for the city landfill, known as Tract A. The contract obligated the City to purchase the remaining Tract B acreage by 2015 for economic development purposes. In 2015, City Council allocated funds and authorized the purchase of Tract B for $3,000,000 for the purposes of attracting manufacturing employers through targeted business development.

On March 2, the Boone County Commission aproved Chapter 100 Revenue bonds for AOD-MO Holdings, LLC for this project. AOD is also working with the State of Missouri on a strategic economic incentive package based on strict job creation criteria. The next step in the project is to finalize and close on the land purchase, tentatively scheduled for late March.