MERRILLVILLE | Aunt Millie's Bakeries plans to invest about $2 million in a new distribution facility and retail sales business in Merrillville, according to John Popp, the company's president.
The new development proposed near 69th Avenue and Mississippi Street, on Tuesday received preliminary subdivision approval for two lots from the town's Plan Commission.
Commission President Shawn Pettit said the facility has a "fabulous layout" and he was "blown away" by plans for the project when he first heard about it.
Popp said about 30 employees from the Aunt Millie's distribution center in Griffith would be transferred to the new site. An additional 25 to 30 employees would be hired, he said.
Gary Torrenga, of Torrenga Engineering, said about 90 percent of the 25,000-square-foot facility would be used for the distribution of Aunt Millie's products, which include bread, buns, muffins and other bakery products.
The retail sales area would be located in the front of the facility, Torrenga said.
The center would be constructed so Aunt Millie's trucks parked at the facility would be screened from Mississippi Street, Popp said.
Torrenga said the building would occupy one lot, and there are no plans at this time for the second lot.
Commission member Brian Dering suggested creating a park-like setting in the second lot to enhance the property.
The project also requires final subdivision approval from the Plan Commission and multiple variance approvals from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Those requests could be granted next month.
After the necessary approvals are obtained, construction of the facility could begin in late spring or early summer, Popp said.
"We want to get started soon," he said.