ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston will build its new headquarters building adjacent to its current Kennewick office, and not at Columbia Point, where the company had planned to build.
In November, the Richland City Council approved a land swap with the frozen potato processing company. The city agreed to trade the company 80 acres in the Horn Rapids industrial park for the 8.6 acres it owned at Columbia Point.
Lamb Weston plans to build a $35 million food processing plant at the Horn Rapids site.
The company bought the riverfront property at Columbia Point for $1.43 million in 2010 and planned to build new office at the site.
“After carefully evaluating various sites throughout the Tri-Cities, we have decided that the Lamb Weston office will remain in Kennewick,” said Gary Cuddeford, vice president of operations for Lamb Weston.
Cuddeford said the Kennewick site, which is adjacent to the company’s current Gage Boulevard offices, will cost less, offer more design flexibility and easier access for employees.
The company has not said when it will begin construction on the new Kennewick offices. But under the agreement, the company only has 24 months to start construction of a new $35 million frozen storage warehouse at the Horn Rapids site.
The company will also retain an option to buy an addition 80 acres that borders the they are acquiring.
Kennewick Mayor Steve Young said the city is thrilled that Lamb Weston will be expanding its offices in the city.
“This is an ideal place for Lamb Weston to enlarge its operations and for its employees and business to continue to thrive. One of our major goals is to retain and grow existing businesses, so this greatly contributes to us meeting that goal.”
And although Richland will lose out on having the corporate offices in its city, the expansion at Horn Rapids will mean more jobs in the city.
“Keeping ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston here has long been a Tri-Cities goal,” said John Fox, Richland mayor. “Now, with that assured, we’re working with them on a land exchange in Richland for a facility that would bring new industrial jobs.”
And the Columbia Point property will become available for new opportunities, he added.
Carl Adrian, TRIDEC president and CEO, said the land exchange and Lamb Weston’s revised plans are good for the entire community.
“It’s a testament to the Tri-Cities that while communities across the nation are dealing with a national economic crisis, our region is seeing this substantial investment by a top company such as ConAgra Foods.”
Lamb Weston employs nearly 4,500 people in the Columbia Basin, with local offices in Kennewick, two plants in Pasco, a plant and a technical center with research and development departments in Richland and several additional plants throughout the Mid-Columbia.
Lamb Weston, a brand of ConAgra Foods Inc., is a supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and other vegetable products that serves the foodservice and retail industries.