California is flooding into Washington state again, this time not to snap up inexpensive residential real estate, but rather to invest in a lucrative commercial venture.
Specifically, construction on a $50 million Niagara Bottling, LLC, plant will begin in Frederickson this fall.
Ontario, Calif.-based Niagara, the largest family-owned bottled water manufacturer in the nation, first announced the intention to open the state-of-the-art facility in late June. The deal is not only set to spark $3.2 million in one-time fees for Tacoma Water — which will provide the main resource for Niagara — but also a spike of $800,000 for the utility in annual revenue.
A contract between Niagara Bottling and the Tacoma Public Utilities board was approved in June, and the plant is slated to open in April 2014.
Chris Gleason, TPU spokeswoman, remarked that the deal was positive for both the agency and its customers.
Pamela Anderson Cridlebaugh, Niagara’s director of legal affairs, was similarly positive. “Financially, it made good sense from a transportation standpoint, and the proximity to our customers.” she said. “Pierce County meets our needs geographically; also has that community fit, that intangible; (and) seems to match well our mission and principles.”
Susan Suess, senior vice president of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, said that the first hint she received about Niagara being interested in the Frederickson site was from a commercial real estate broker who contacted Tacoma Water about rates last December.
In February, her EDB team met with representatives from Niagara to view the location.
Now, she said, all are very happy with the outcome of the deal.
“It’s a great company, and it’s going to be a good addition to the county,” she said. “(And) they were as interested in having a good fit with our community as with the site itself.”