By JASON MARTIN Chicago – Sprouts Inc said it has selected a site in the city’s Loop for a $4 billion food processing plant that will be the largest of its kind in the United States.
The company said in a statement that the Chicago-based company, which has more than a dozen locations across the Midwest, has selected the former Wheeling, Illinois, site as a preferred location because it has an ample supply of space for the plant to accommodate the projected demand for the fast-growing burger chain.
The $4.4 billion project, to be completed in 2026, will employ more than 12,000 people, including about 1,500 at the plant and 2,000 at a new facility in Southport, Illinois.
Sprouts will also hire more than 1,000 local workers to assist in its expansion, the company said.
“We look forward to being a part of Chicago’s thriving dining and retail community and the region’s future growth,” said Chris Roode, president and chief executive officer of Sprouts.
“Our new facility will enable us to expand our distribution footprint and enhance our food quality.
Sprout is the leader in the food and beverage industry in the Chicago area and will add new life to the Loop.”
The Wheeling facility will create more than 3,500 construction jobs.
The new plant will also employ more about 5,000 workers in its first phase, including more than 5,400 from Chicago.
Sprades said it expects to employ about 7,000 locally over the next two years.
The facility will also add more than 20,000 square feet of office space, including a total of about 9,000 units, and will include a full-service grocery store, an on-site pharmacy and restaurants.
Sprouts’ new $4bn plant in the Loop is the largest food processing facility in the U.S., according to the Chicago Board of Trade.
The Illinois-based restaurant chain is seeking to build its Chicago headquarters, a $50 million office tower and a mixed-use complex in the Midway neighborhood.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this month that Sprouts had reached an agreement with a developer to build the Chicago headquarters on the site of a former auto parts factory.
The city of Chicago is also exploring a potential development for the site, according to a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Sprays’ headquarters is near the site where the city had sought to redevelop a former steel mill site for a public housing project, the spokeswoman said.
Sprades plans to open a restaurant in the area by 2021, but has not announced plans to expand its operations beyond the Loop.
The chain was founded in 2008 by Michael Sprouts and his wife, Karen.
The company’s first restaurant in North America was located in Philadelphia.
Sprinters first franchised in the Philippines in 2009, opening its first U.K. store in 2016.
Spruts’ stores in the Americas have been expanding in Mexico, and are opening in Australia, Brazil, India and Vietnam.