CEDAR RAPIDS — Construction has started on a $10.9 million expansion of the H.J. Heinz plant in southwest Cedar Rapids.
The expansion is expected to create about 31 jobs, most of them in production.
The project involves an 8,000-square-foot expansion for a research and development laboratory and a facility for bulk chemical storage. The expansion also will include space for additional production equipment.
The plant at 5005 C St. SW produces soups, sauces and entrees for the food service market.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority board in September approved $100,000 in direct incentives and refundable investment tax credits to Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz and its subsidiaries.
Dennis Jordan, vice president of economic development with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, said the project awaited final approval of Heinz corporate leadership at the time the state incentives were approved last fall. The plant was in competition with other Heinz facilities for the expansion, but Cedar Rapids was the company’s first choice.
The Heinz plant was built by Quality Chef Foods in the 1990s before the company was purchased by Heinz.
The former Quality Chef Foods plant on Third Street SE was demolished in the aftermath of the June 2008 flood to make room for the$3.8 million NewBo City Market, a year-round farmers market now under construction.