MERRILLVILLE | Dawn Food Products broke ground Friday on a new 116,000-square-foot distribution center in the AmeriPlex at the Crossroads near Broadway and 101st Avenue.
The facility, located on Purdue Research Park property at 9601 Georgia St., will employ more than 70 employees from Dawn’s two facilities in Crown Point and Munster that will consolidate into the Merrillville facility upon its scheduled completion in September. That number will grow as the company grows, said Dawn Bakery Distribution President Eric Metzendorf.
The facility will stock 3,000 unique products serving the baking industry and fill more than 30,000 orders.
“All the team members and drivers will be working in this area, shopping in this area, eating in this area,” Metzendorf said. “This is a lot of economic activity, and it’s a great opportunity for us all.”
Merrillville Town Councilman Shawn Pettit said this kind of development can be difficult during trying economic times.
“The reason we’re doing it is because of a beautiful facility and job creation,” he said. “This is a fantastic endeavor.”
Pettit said the town will move forward on developing a wider 101st Avenue bridge to improve traffic flow in and about the park “now that we have a huge generator here.”
Purdue Research Park Executive Director Greg Deason said one of the most exciting parts of the development is that Dawn shares common interests with Purdue an area such as core competency in food science and food packaging.
“We’re also excited about seeing job growth and more vibrancy here,” he said. “I think these are the kinds of things we envisioned happening at the Purdue Research Parks."
Metzendorf said it’s projected that the new facility will use about a third of the power as the two facilities it’s replacing.
The facility is being designed and built by Tippmann Group.