Mission Foods, one of Luzerne County’s largest manufacturing companies, is expanding its operation in Crestwood Industrial Park, Wright Township. The expansion will support the firm’s approximately 400 local jobs.
Robert K. Mericle has announced that the company has leased 40,153 square feet from Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services in an 110,000 square foot building at 5-11 Elmwood Road. The expansion space is located immediately adjacent to Mission Foods’ 136,244 square foot tortilla production facility at 15 Elmwood Road.
Mission Foods opened its main manufacturing plant at 15 Elmwood Road in 2005, in an 110,000 square foot industrial building Mericle had constructed on speculation. Mission Foods purchased the building and later added 26,244 square feet to keep up with its local growth.
Headquartered in Irving Texas, Mission Foods has grown to become one of the largest producers of tortilla products, producing almost a quarter of all tortillas sold in the world.
Mission Foods offers a full line of tortillas from flour and corn tortillas to their popular 96% fat free, whole wheat, multi-grain and low carbohydrate varieties.
Mericle Vice President Bob Besecker, Jr. coordinated the lease transaction along with commercial real estate brokers Jay Rigelsky and Brian Kelly of Corporate Real Estate Advisors in Dallas, Texas. Besecker said the Mericle space at 5-11 Elmwood Road really fills a need for Mission Foods.
“The company’s tremendous growth completely maxed out their manufacturing facility,” said Besecker. “Fortunately, we have exactly what they need right next door. Our space will take the pressure off the main plant and give them enough elbow room to sustain their growth.”
Besecker said the fact that Mission now occupies two buildings that had originally been constructed by Mericle on speculation demonstrates the validity of the developer’s recently announced Ready to Go Program. “We feel it is critically important that we have a variety of existing options available when companies need space in our area,” he said. “Through our Ready to Go Program, we are accelerating our preparation of pad sites and construction of spec buildings, which we hope will lead to more projects that create and sustain jobs.”
“If anyone doubted the logic behind the Ready to Go Program, this rapid response to Mission Food’s need to grow should erase all doubts,” said Bill Moore, President and CEO of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. “Being able to react quickly has ensured the retention of the 400 manufacturing jobs already here, and paves the way for additional new hires. It truly is a win-win situation,” Moore said.
Mission Foods had its beginnings in 1949 when Don Roberto Gonzalez and his father formed the company GRUMA S.A. in Monterrey, Mexico, and revolutionized the corn flour and tortilla industries.
Today, GRUMA S.A. is one of the world’s largest producers of corn flour and tortilla products, with production facilities across the Americas, the UK, Holland, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and Asia. Its operations and sales extend to the US, Canada, throughout Central America (through Gruma Centro America), and into England, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.missionfoods.com.
Mission Foods joins existing tenant HD Supply Utilities in the 5-11 Elmwood Road facility. Mericle recently signed a lease for approximately 70,000 square feet with HD Supply Utilities. The company is distributing transmission and distribution utility products from the property.
Mericle Vice President Jim Hilsher coordinated the lease with HD Supply Utilities. “HD Supply Utilities is a great company and we are pleased we were able to recruit such a good employer to the park,” he said.
“Having a quality industrial property in Crestwood Industrial Park was a key in the recruitment of the company to Northeastern Pennsylvania, added Hilsher. HD Supply Utilities looked at multiple locations throughout eastern Pennsylvania before selecting our building.”
Founded by Robert K. Mericle in 1985, Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services has developed more than 19 million square feet of industrial, office and flex space. More than 13,400 people work in the buildings developed by Mericle in Northeastern Pennsylvania.