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ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. and the Altoona-Blair County Development Corp. (ABCD) broke ground over the weekend on a new 140,000-square-foot facility classified as a production operation, where food including "made-to-go" sandwiches, wraps, salads, parfaits and bakery products will be processed and delivered daily to all 334 existing Sheetz stores.
"I am excited to finally see this project come to fruition. It's been in the planning and development stages for a long time and we're extremely proud to be working again with the ABCD Corp. to build this facility here in Blair County," Stanton Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz, told QSR Magazine. "Sheetz Bros. Kitchen is something we've wanted to start for a long time. It will help us strengthen our distribution process in serving our stores with the products our customers want."
The facility, expected to be complete in June 2008, is also designed to meet a growing customer base and future stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, the report stated. Sheetz Bros. Kitchen will be located on an existing 60-acre site in the Walter Business Park, with an additional 40 acres to accommodate the facility and possible future projects.
The total cost of the production facility, including land, is estimated to approach $36 million. It is also anticipated that approximately $10.5 million in production equipment will be needed to support facility operations, according to the report.
The project will also include a 28,000-square-foot expansion to an existing distribution center. Sheetz selected the Dennis Group to provide engineering and construction management services for the project, the magazine reported.
"This project is not only going to be good for Sheetz, but good for the Altoona-Blair County Community because it will provide new job opportunities for people in this region. We started this business in Altoona and have always been proud of that fact. We're happy to continue growing and expanding in our hometown community," Sheetz added.
The company said about 435 new jobs will be created over the next five years -- 300 production employees; 85 drivers who will run a fleet of 50 small delivery vehicles; and an additional 50 employees for administrative and supporting rolls. The anticipated payroll totals $12.1 million, with a benefits package projected at $6.3 million.
"ABCD Corp. and the entire community are grateful to the Sheetz brothers, Sheetz family members and the entire Sheetz corporate team for their commitment to increase investment and job creation in the Blair County Area and the I-99 corridor. They have taken their vision and dreams and turned them into reality for the benefit of the company, the community, the region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," Martin J. Marasco, president and CEO of ABCD, told QSR.
To support the project's development, ABCD completed Phase II Transportation Improvements at the property, now known as "Sheetz Way," according to the report.