Clermont County’s Nestlé Purina project receives growth award

BATAVIA, OH – The $550 million Nestlé Purina PetCare plant in Williamsburg Township was recognized today by REDI Cincinnati, the region’s economic development organization, with the prestigious James A. Wuenker Growth Award.

Clermont County Community and Economic Development nominated the project for the award, which is given annually for the region’s most-impressive project.

On Oct. 26, 2020, Clermont County, JobsOhio, REDI Cincinnati and Nestlé Purina announced plans for Nestlé Purina to locate its first new, ground-up manufacturing facility in North America in nearly 45 years. It is being built on the site of the South Afton Industrial Park – an Ohio site certified location – on 193 acres in Williamsburg Township near State Route 32.  It will bring 300 new manufacturing jobs to the area with an estimated annual payroll of $12 million.

Unique attributes of this project include working with Duke Energy to develop a high capacity gas line for the area in order to service the site. The new gas line could potentially open up hundreds of additional acres for future growth.

This project was made possible because of the advance planning of Clermont County to create a site ready for growth.

It is a truly collaborative effort, a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) between the Village of Williamsburg and Williamsburg Township was created for the project, the Clermont Port Authority assisted with construction tax exemptions, and the Clermont County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) facilitated the site readiness, infrastructure improvements and wetland mitigation. Along with JobsOhio and REDI Cincinnati, the Clermont County Commissioners and Williamsburg Schools approved incentives for the large investment.

The announcement of the project has already spurred commercial land sales on adjacent parcels, nearby commercial/industrial speculative development and close by property owners starting conversations about how to prepare their land for site readiness.

REDI Cincinnati noted that “the company sought a large site where it could quickly begin construction and a region with a fruitful talent pool. Just as importantly, Purina was looking for a community that aligned with its values and culture. After considering several other locations, the pet food maker chose the South Afton Industrial Park in Clermont County to build a 1,000,000-square-foot production facility and create 300 new jobs.”

The site was shovel ready and authenticated by the SiteOhio readiness program. This dates back to 2016, when Clermont County began assembling the land and preparing it for development. The final product was the result of a partnership between Clermont County, REDI Cincinnati and JobsOhio which made it the perfect site for the company’s latest investment.

“The proactive economic development of the Board of County Commissioners and county administration at the time led to the development of the South Afton Industrial Park, which attracted this well-known company to our area,” said Claire Corcoran, President, Board of County Commissioners.