MUNSTER | Land O’Frost will relocate its Lansing headquarters to a yet-unnamed site here, creating up to 50 new jobs by 2014, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Monday.
The company, founded in 1958 and owned by the third-generation of founder Antoon VanEekeren’s family, is the nation’s third-largest producer of pre-sliced, pre-packaged lunchmeats and is a producer of specialty sausage products.
Land O’Frost will invest $6.4 million to move its corporate headquarters to a three-acre campus in Munster. Construction on a 25,000-square foot facility is slated to begin next summer and is expected to be completed in 2014.
“Businesses continue to discover the many advantages Indiana has over our neighbors, especially when they know that our state and property taxes are going to stay low,” Daniels said in a press release from Indianapolis, released through the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
“Land O’Frost has tremendous future growth potential and today is just the beginning of what we hope will be a productive relationship,” the governor said.
The Munster Redevelopment Commission began reviewing a proposal by Land O’Frost owners to move the company’s headquarters to a new facility earlier this fall and voted Oct. 8 to offer an economic development incentive to the company to relocate.
“We put together an inducement for $2 million in tax increment financing dollars for Land O’Frost to acquire property in Munster,” said David Nellans, chairman of the Redevelopment Commission and president of the Munster Town Council.
“Land O’Frost is ... a well-established growing company that will bring professional employees in to the community. Their corporate headquarters will be an important part of our business community,” said Nellans. “They will bring additional jobs and tax dollars into the community as well as purchasing from other local businesses here.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Land O’Frost Inc. up to $750,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans, according to the press release.
These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company isn’t eligible to claim incentives.
The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority also will support the project through its Deal Closing Fund.
Land O’Frost employs 40 professionals at its headquarters and more than 1,100 manufacturing employees at its four production plants in Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas and Nebraska. The company will begin to transition its headquarters staff to the new Munster facility after construction is completed.
“Our new state-of-the-art headquarters in Munster will provide us not only with the room to support our continued growth, but also allows us to create an environment that fosters stronger employee collaboration,” said David VanEekeren, president/CEO of Land O’Frost, in a news release.
The new Munster headquarters will support the company’s research and development initiatives and “help us continue to attract and retain top talent,” he said.
Land O’Frost is actively engaged in supporting its employees’ communities, according to VanEekeren. Examples of this commitment include various employee volunteer programs, the establishment of its Youth Sports Program in 2003 and a national partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The company joins a growing list of companies that have chosen to shift all or parts of their operations to the Hoosier state from surrounding states. Those moves into Northwest Indiana include Modern Forge to Merrillville and CN Railway to Gary.