The largest family-owned bottled water manufacturer in the United States wants to put down some roots in Pierce County.
Niagara Bottling announced last week that it plans to open a state-of-the-art bottling facility in Frederickson. It would be the company’s first site in the Pacific Northwest, joining 13 others around the country.
The new 311,000-square-foot facility in Randles Business Park will initially create 36 jobs, represents a capital investment of approximately $50 million, and will serve the company’s customers throughout the Northwest, officials said.
Groundbreaking on the plant is expected this fall. Niagara expects it to be fully operational in early 2014.
“We are very excited about our expansion in Washington,” said Brian Hess, an executive vice president of Niagara Bottling, which has its headquarters in Ontario, Calif. “We’re looking forward to servicing the needs of our customers in the region, and to being a good corporate neighbor. We can’t wait to get started.”
The company decided to have a bottling facility in Pierce County because the location makes sense from an operational standpoint and in a cost analysis. It also is a great “community fit,” Hess said, noting support Niagara received from the area.
“We had several organizations working together for our project,” including the state Department of Commerce, Pierce County, and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, Hess said. Those and “other local partners came together with one voice to communicate that our project was welcomed and that this community was the right place for our business.”
State and county government leaders also cited a united effort locally in attracting Niagara Bottling.
Other Northwest states “were in the running” as possible locations for the plant, said Governor Jay Inslee. But state and county economic officials and the business community worked for more than seven months “to demonstrate the reasons why this community is a perfect fit with Niagara,” he said.
Inslee described Niagara as “a dynamic, environmentally conscious, advanced manufacturing company. We’re delighted to welcome them to Washington.”
Andrew Peykoff Sr. founded Niagara Bottling in 1963 by traveling door-to-door selling glass-bottled, purified drinking water. Niagara’s primary business is now private-label bottled water sold in grocery stores and big-box retailers.
Since 2002, when Peykoff was replaced as president of the company by his son, Andy Peykoff II, Niagara has established production facilities throughout the U.S.
The younger Peykoff took the helm of the company his father suffered a minor stroke. “‘You’re done,’ I told my dad,” Peykoff II said in an interview with Forbes magazine in 2005.
Niagara has won industry awards for the design of its bottles. The company has also been recognized environmentally for reducing its carbon footprint through consuming less material in its bottle manufacturing and the implementation of energy-efficiency methods.
“Niagara Bottling is a great addition to the local business community,” said County Executive Pat McCarthy, who visited the company’s headquarters to discuss the merits of locating in Frederickson. “Niagara is a national leader in the industry, and building a plant in Pierce County provides great access to the Northwest market. Niagara joins companies like Amazon, State Farm and others that have recently announced decisions to expand in Pierce County because it’s a great place to work, live and play.”
“The team that came together to make this deal happen was top-notch,” said Susan Suess, senior vice president of the Economic Development Board. “The State, county and EDB were laser-focused on ensuring that the client’s needs were met throughout the recruitment process.”
The EDB helps recruit businesses to the county by providing them with information on demographics, the local workforce, financing and local government processes for construction permits and other project requirements.