A Wisconsin container blow molder is looking to expand into a nearby community in a big way.
Schoeneck Containers Inc. of New Berlin has struck a preliminary agreement with Elkhorn, Wis., to develop a 250,000-square-foot production facility.
A final agreement still needs to be reached, Elkhorn City Administrator Sam Tapson said March 15.
But plans are to establish the new construction on a 37.5-acre parcel the city would acquire as part of a larger business development effort.
The new location would include production, warehouse and office space.
About 40 jobs would be created initially with another 20 over the next couple of years, Tapson said.
New Berlin is a suburb of Milwaukee and Elkhorn is located about 32 miles southwest from there.
"They are in need to expand. We've been probably at this process at least 18 months trying to work through the details," the city administrator said. "Long story short, there's an agreement for acquisition of some 70 acres, of which SCI would occupy about 37.5."
"Longer term, the 37.5 acres are larger than the 250,000 square feet requires, so there is a longer-term vision that might include upwards of a half a million square feet. But that's not a commitment and it's not a guarantee at this point," Tapson said.
In 2016, Schoeneck had an estimated $71 million in sales, ranking them at No. 28 in Plastics News' annual ranking.
Considering the Great Recession and lack of development in general in recent years, Tapson called the project "huge" for his community. "Landing something like this at this point in time is a significant development for a community of any size, frankly. In ours, in particular, it's a solid thing. We have a very well-established business park already and an employment base, but this certain is that add-on feature. I think it's long-term growth is even more significant than the immediate possibilities," he said.
Aside from the potential for future expansion at Schoeneck, the city administrator also said the project could lead to more business development on the 70-acre site that's now farm land.
Elkhorn has an option to buy the property and will do so once a formal agreement is signed with the company.
"One more phase of this is to finalize the development agreement. We have a signed memorandum of agreement to move forward. But we need to put it into a full-blown development agreement and then at that point we can acquire the property," Tapson said.
Schoeneck Containers was founded in 1972 and supplies containers to the food, beverage, personal care, household, industrial, nutraceutical, wipes and pet care segments. The company did not immediately return a call for comment.