Haribo acquires nearly 137 acres from Pleasant Prairie for manufacturing facility

Haribo has finalized its acquisition of a 136.8-acre site from the village of Pleasant Prairie in the Prairie Highland Corporate Park, where the German gummi bear maker plans to construct its first North American manufacturing facility.

The company plans to break ground on the project later this year.

In a news release, the village announced Wednesday afternoon that the land sale was made final on Tuesday. The sale comes after the village completed land and infrastructure improvements at the site, including sewer systems, water main and roadways.

Haribo paid $20.7 million for the land over two separate payments. A village spokesman said in an email that the company initially paid $13 million in December 2017. The final closing occurred Tuesday because of the completion of the infrastructure work. The two-phase payment was established in a purchase and sale agreement between the village and Haribo back in 2017.

The project site is located near the southwest corner of 120th Avenue and County Highway C, according to village documents.

The new Haribo facility will produce Goldbears gummi bears and similar candy products. The multi-phase project will include a warehouse, manufacturing facility, administrative building and later on a daycare center, fitness building and a “retail experience” for the public.

“We founded our business on the principle of quality and for the past century we’ve inspired millions of moments of childlike happiness through our sweet treats,” Arndt Ruesges, Haribo chief production officer, said in the release. “This new factory will allow us to continue that tradition and produce gummies for our consumers for generations to come, and we appreciate the village’s diligent partnership to help make that happen.”

The Haribo site is part of the 458 acres that the village acquired in 2017 from Abbott Labs. The company at one time planned to build a research and office campus on the site, but never moved forward with those plans. The village then bought the land in order to create the corporate park.

“This is a tremendous investment that will result in one of the largest confectionery manufacturing sites in North America,” Nathan Thiel, Pleasant Prairie village administrator, said in the release. “The development will bring hundreds of jobs from a company that is globally recognized as being an excellent place to work.”

Pleasant Prairie also recently announced the sale of 68 acres immediately west of the corporate park to Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate, which plans to build three speculative warehouse buildings totaling 1 million square feet there.

Alex Zank, BizTimes

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