Golden State Foods to open facility in Northeast Opelika Industrial Park
By Alison James
In a move that equates to $40-45 million in capital investment and 173 new jobs, city and state officials announced Tuesday that Golden State Foods Corp. will build a meat processing facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.
In resolutions approved by the Opelika City Council at Tuesday night’s meeting, the city agreed to provide “financial incentives … including cash incentives, performance incentives, tax abatements and roadway extension and related improvements” as well as “a water main and a sanitary sewer line to the property line of the project site at no cost to the Company.” Considerations granted to the company include the waiver of any and all site plan review fees; waiver of building and construction permits and water tap and system development fees; abatement of all state and local non-education property taxes for a period of ten years and all construction-related transactions taxes except those for education purposes; exemption for non-educational city ad valorem taxes for 15 years.
“Today is yet another great day in our community,” said Mayor Gary Fuller. Fuller was joined by, among others, Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield for the announcement Tuesday.
Established in 1947, GSF Corp. is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and services more than 125,000 restaurants.
“We’re excited to have this opportunity to work with the city of Opelika and the state of Alabama on this project,” said Dr. Wayne Morgan, GSF Corp corporate vice president and meat group president, via teleconference at Tuesday’s announcement. “It took careful consideration – we looked at a lot of sites, but we feel this is a great area for us to locate our facility based on the strategic location along I-85, the available workforce and the atmosphere of industry and government cooperation for the common good.”
Morgan and his family will move to the Opelika area to work with the new facility. The Opelika facility will produce hamburger patties and ground beef products, supplying about 25 percent of the McDonald’s system’s needs, according to GSF Corp company officials.
“We’re thrilled to have Golden State Foods in Opelika,” said Lori Huguley. “We think their values and the community we have here are a perfect match. We think they’re going to be very successful here, and we look forward to continuing to support them.”
The new facility is projected to open in fall 2016.