JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On Oct. 13, The Bruss Co.’s general manager said plans for potentially building a new meat plant in Jacksonville are looking better -- thanks to the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission approving a $1.2 million incentive package for the processor. Before moving forward, the Jacksonville city council still needs to OK the incentive package, while Bruss still performs due diligence on this possible site.

A Chicago-based subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Bruss manufactures portion-controlled steaks and chops to the foodservice industry. It supplies national restaurant chains located throughout the US, as well as regional chains and major cruise lines.

Bruss needs to expand because its Chicago plant is reaching capacity. Based on customer demand and operational efficiency, the company has identified the Southeastern US as the preferred region for expansion. The Bruss Company became part of Tyson in 2001. Today, it operates a 52,000 sq. ft. meat processing facility in Chicago and employs 300 people.

“The company is considering the purchase of a refrigerated warehouse at 5441 W. 5th Street in Jacksonville,” a Tyson Foods spokesman told MEATPOULTRY.com. “If the company chooses this site, it will result in the renovation of a vacant industrial building placing it back into use and provide jobs. The company would invest more than $7 million to buy and renovate the building, and install equipment, machinery, furniture and fixtures.”

At least 200 jobs would be added to the local economy if the project is successfully launched. “The average annual wage would be approximately $31,000; the company also offers an excellent benefits package valued at about $8,000 per person,” he added. “The projected annual payroll, once the project is at full capacity, would be $7.8 million.”

The new Bruss operation will also hire third-party service providers (security, contract cleaning) who would provide approximately 20 additional jobs, he concluded.