New large Koch Foods production building to bring more than 400 jobs, open in February

Business will become second-largest in Fairfield when new portion is complete.

FAIRFIELD — In less than six months, Koch Foods’ new 400,000-plus-square-foot expansion is expected to be operational.

Koch General Manager Brian Reisen said the schedule, for now, is Feb. 27 will be the first day of production in the new building.

“We’re right on schedule. We lost a little bit, about four weeks, due to rain in the spring,” he said.

The goal is to fill 400 full-time jobs next year, and they’re hiring some leadership positions now in advance of the plant’s February opening.

This project will make Koch Foods Fairfield’s second-largest business behind Cincinnati Financial. After the new positions are filled, the chicken processing company could have close to 2,000 employees.

Reisen doesn’t believe it would take long to fill the jobs given its diversity.

“We’re still marching along,” he said. “Business has been going very well. We’re an eight-language facility, and a lot of our employees come by way of mouth referrals.”

Koch Foods is constructing the 402,140-square-foot building on 18 acres behind its 45-acre main campus at 4100 Port Union Road. In all, it will be a $220 million investment, with $140 million being spent on the building and the remainder on new machinery and equipment.

In exchange, the city provided a 10-year, 75% tax abatement on the project.

Resien said they’ll add three production lines in 2023, but they’ll start with one on Feb. 27. The second line will be added around the start of June and the third line around the start of December.

“We still have room for two more lines in this facility, so this is going to be a very, very large facility when this is all said and done,” he said. Those fourth and fifth lines won’t likely be needed for a few more years.

Adding the three production lines would provide the manufacturer of poultry products with a total of 10.

The project had also already received regional recognition from the economic development organization REDI Cincinnati. In March, REDI awarded the Koch Foods project with the James A. Wuenker Growth Award because of the jobs being added to the region.

Hamilton’s 80 Acres Farms and Saica have earned this growth award in recent years.

Reisen said while there’s no timeline for a fourth and fifth production line as it’s based on customer demands and needs, it’s likely they’ll be needed in a few years.

They’re also sitting on a 277,000-square-foot building on Seward Road, the former Liberty Mutual insurance office building. The building was acquired by Ambrose Property Group in December 2019 as part of a land acquisition on Seward Road to construct Fairfield Commerce Park.

Ambrose sold the former insurance office building earlier this month to Koch Foods for $8.4 million, according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office.

“The building and the land have been acquired by Koch with the expectation for a future frozen and dry warehouse,” Resien said.

No date has been scheduled to utilize the building, so until it’s needed, Reisen said it would be white-boxed.

Koch Foods is headquartered in Chicago and has manufacturing facilities in Alabama, Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Its Fairfield operation opened in 1999 and is the city’s largest industrial employer and largest water and sewer customer.

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