Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Sneak Peek at Goya's Stronghold in Wetlands

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Sneak Peek at Goya's Stronghold in Wetlands

Article excerpt

Goya Foods Inc. expects to open its $127 million regional distribution center and headquarters in Jersey City this fall, two years after the groundbreaking ceremony for the massive building, a company official said Monday.

The 638,000-square-foot facility at 360 County Road will likely have a "soft opening" in either late September or early October, Goya Executive Vice President Peter Unanue said.

"We typically give ourselves a month or two to get fully operational, so a grand opening would probably be more toward the end of the year," he said.

The facility, on a 40-acre site in the Meadowlands that had been undeveloped, is expected to be state-of-the-art in terms of eco- friendliness, floor construction and post-Sandy emergency safeguards, which include backup electrical generators operating on both diesel and natural gas. Amenities for the 500 workers on the campus will include a gym, a cafeteria and an outdoor walking/ jogging path, all in keeping with Goya's health initiatives for employees.

As the nation's largest Hispanic-owned food company, Goya has been outgrowing its longtime warehouse in Secaucus. The company will continue to use the 240,000-square-foot building at 100 Seaview Drive, where it has been since 1974, after renovating it, while it also consolidates some operations at its Jersey City building, including functions from its 155,000-square-foot Long Island warehouse and distribution facility in Bethpage, N.Y., Unanue said.

Goya's growth mode includes opening three other manufacturing and distribution facilities, in Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles. New Jersey gave Goya $82 million in tax incentives in 2011 to retain a presence in the state.

A recent tour of the Jersey City facility was provided by executives including Clark Machemer, vice president and regional director of Rockefeller Group Development Corp., the project's developer. The shell of the building appeared basically finished, and contractors were expected to start installing racks for inventory soon. …

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