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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The Plan Commission approved the first phase of construction for a German candy maker’s first Wisconsin manufacturing facility with a corporate campus in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park.

Following a public hearing on Monday, the commission voted unanimously favoring approval of a zoning text amendment, along with preliminary site and operation plans for Haribo of America Manufacturing. The candy maker expects to begin the initial phase of construction this fall, as part of a four-phase development, on the 137-acre property at 12488 Goldbear Dr. in the corporate park.

The initial phase includes construction of:

a three-story manufacturing facility, with a four-story administrative support building and office spaces;

a fire pump utility building;

a central wastewater pretreatment building;

a gatehouse for a buffer warehouse;

and a buffer warehouse for incoming raw materials and finished goods.

The largest of the buildings in the first phase are the 602,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and the 162,500-square-foot warehouse. The building site is on about 6 million square feet, according to the company’s plans submitted to the village. Haribo officials have said the new facility expects to employ 450 employees and will produce and store about 66,000 tons of gummi candies each year.

According to Jean Werbie-Harris, the village’s community development director, future phases are expected to include a distribution center, multistory parking, a retail store, a helicopter pad, a museum, a fitness center and a day care facility.

Haribo officials have said the fitness center and day care would be for company employees to start, with possible consideration for public use in the future.

According to the plans, construction would begin this fall or by spring of next year. Much of the warehouse construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2020, with the manufacturing facility anticipated to be finished the following year in the fall of 2021.

During the public hearing, Patrick and Jayne Perlman — Bristol residents who live near the site — wondered about the change in parapet screening for mechanical equipment that would be on the rooftop of a packaging area of the Haribo development.

According to Werbie-Harris, while the village zoning ordinance calls for it, the need for additional screening would not be necessary as developers plan to move the equipment several hundred feet away from the wall at the roof’s edge. Project manager and senior engineer Brian Dunn, of Mead & Hunt, which represents the Haribo development, said “large building elements” on the west side of the building would screen almost all the mechanical equipment.

“You will be able to see some mechanical equipment on the roof from that corner (at 120th Avenue), but not a lot of it,” he said.

Currently, the village work crews are constructing stormwater facilities and other public improvements at the site, Werbie-Harris said. The improvements are expected to be completed by October.

In approving the plans, Mike Pollocoff, a Village Board member on the Plan Commission, said they represent an “excellent development” in the village. The plans will advance to the Village Board later this month.

“We’re looking forward to the next phase of this construction, and Pleasant Prairie’s very pleased you chose us here,” said Mike Serpe, Plan Commission chairman and Village Board member. “I guarantee you won’t regret that decision.”

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