The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, June 08, 2021 1:00 am

Dreyer's to expand, add 145 jobs

Investing $146 million to grow Wells Street facilities

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream plans to add 145 full-time permanent jobs as part of a $146 million expansion project.

The project also includes a 240,000-square-foot expansion, updates to its current facilities on Wells Street and to purchase and install new personal property, according to paperwork filed with the Fort Wayne City Council.

The average salary of the new jobs will be $49,662 for a total of $7.2 million in new payroll. The company will also retain 400 jobs with an average salary of $72,842, totaling $29.1 million in retained payroll.

A request will come before City Council today for a 10-year reduction in property taxes, which would come with the declaration of an economic revitalization area. A public hearing on the tax abatement will be set for the council's June 22 meeting, according to the agenda.

If the council approves the application, Nestle Dreyer's would save on property taxes over the next 10 years. The equipment's assessed value would be reduced by 100% the first year and gradually return to full value over the following decade.

If approved, the economic revitalization area will cover real estate improvements and personal property for new manufacturing, logistical distribution and information technology improvements made between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2023.

According to the ordinance before council, the council has approved similar tax abatements for Dreyer's over the years, including 10 ordinances with the first being approved in 1997. Dreyer's most recent request was in October of 2020 for a $41 million investment that allowed it to produce a new line of round-top cones.

Nestle USA acquired a majority stake in Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Inc. in 2002. Dreyer's ice cream is marketed under the Dreyer's brand in the West and is known as Edy's in the East.

In August 2019, Dreyer's eliminated 40 jobs in its local distribution center as part of a restructuring plan to simplify its “route-to-market for (its) pizza and ice cream businesses.”

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