News Column

Sysco Looks to Expand Food Distribution Business

Feb 8, 2013

Ben van der Meer

Food distribution company Sysco Inc. is looking to expand its south Sutter County operation by more than 120,000 square feet.

The project involves expansion of several parts of the plant, including the freezer warehouse, dry warehouse and truck parking area.

In total, the expansion will grow by a third the footprint for Sysco's plant, a 295,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2001 on Pacific Avenue, a few miles north of the Sacramento County line.

The project is in a 20-day public comment period before it goes before the Sutter County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 26 for approval.

Steve Geiger, the county's principal planner, said company officials haven't said how soon they will proceed if they receive the board's OK.

"They're looking to move quickly on it," he said.

Geiger said the board must review and approve design changes to the project, though he said his department has not seen any major areas of concern.

"It's pretty straightforward," he said. "What they described to us is to better organize their storage inside."

Brynda Stranix, president and chief operating officer for the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corp., said her understanding is Sysco will be retraining existing employees to make use of more efficiencies after the expansion rather than hire new employees.

But it is still important because it could lead to new jobs later, and it shows the company and Sutter County overcame a potential issue with the plant being in a potential floodplain.

"We could've lost them completely to another community," she said.

A company official at the plant said he couldn't comment on the expansion, citing company policy.

Sysco, with 460 employees as of last May, is one of the largest private employers in Yuba-Sutter.

The project will also boost the county through a reassessment of property value and subsequent property taxes.

County Assessor Todd Retzloff said how much that changes depends on how involved the expansions are; adding offices, for example, would result in a higher reassessment.

But business expansion and addition is a good sign for the county overall, he said.

The property has an assessed value of $23.2 million, according to the assessor's website. Property taxes for 2012-13 are $260,676.38.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2013 the Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.)