General Mills Considers $60 Million Expansion

By Chelsea Keenan, Reporter

Aerial photo of the General Mills plant at 4800 Edgewood Road SW in Cedar Rapids.

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - General Mills is considering converting 10,000 square feet of warehouse space at its Cedar Rapids facility into production space.

The $60 million project would create 41 jobs with an average annual salary of $57,000 at the plant at 4800 Edgewood Rd. SW, according to Tuesday's Cedar Rapids City Council agenda. The facility boasted about 600 employees in 2012.

The Fortune 500 company is seeking state assistance from the Iowa Economic Development Authority in the form of tax credits.

Pending approval of the application and final decision of General Mills, construction would begin in mid-2014 with completion in early 2015, according to the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

The potential expansion would convert warehouse space to food grade manufacturing space including inside building enclosures, footings and floor enhancements for food manufacturing equipment.

"Cedar Rapids is a key strategic location for General Mills, and we greatly appreciate the support of the community as we consider continued growth here,” said Paul Lokar, Vice President of North American Manufacturing for General Mills, in a prepared statement.

At a press conference in Des Moines on Monday, Gov. Terry Branstad said that, though the decision is up to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, he believes this is the kind of development the state is interested in promoting and attracting.

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