FORT WAYNE, Ind., June 2, 2022 – Work to create “shovel-ready” development sites across Indiana and southwest Michigan by the Economic Development team of American Electric Power (AEP) and Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) has helped bring the expansion of a sustainable food producer into Fort Wayne.
Do Good Foods (DGF) announced plans in May to invest up to $100 million in an animal-feed production facility near Fort Wayne International Airport, creating up to 100 new jobs by the end of 2024.
Ashley Savieo, AEP Director of Economic Development, and her team work closely with communities across the service territory to help secure large development projects such as Do Good Foods.
The Economic and Business Development team created the AEP Quality Sites Program, to assist communities and developers of industrial properties ensure that all development risks are mitigated. They have been vetted by a hand-picked team of industrial site selection and construction experts. Each Quality Site comes with infrastructure in place or scheduled, environmental studies completed and energy solutions that I&M are prepared to deliver.
“The end goal of attracting companies looking for growth opportunities, like Do Good Foods, is exactly why we created the Quality Sites Program,” Savieo said. “The Airport Business Center has become a hub for innovative companies and jobs because of the convergence of utilities, infrastructure and strong partnership.”
DGF will move into a recently completed shell building at 8645 Aviation Drive in Fort Wayne, with the full build out expected to be complete in late 2024 and production to begin in early 2025.
The 150,000-square-foot facility will allow the company to collect and repurpose up to 60,000 pounds of food waste from up to 450 supermarkets annually. Surplus grocery food is first shared with local food pantries, then what’s left over is then sent to a facility like the one being built in Fort Wayne to be repurposed into feed for animals. This would reduce the amount of food waste – and the associated greenhouse gas emissions – in area landfills. DGF currently operates a similar facility in Fairless Hills, Pa., a suburb of Trenton, N.J.
The location within the park was just one of AEP’s Quality Site locations. Several other locations have helped bring in businesses across the greater Fort Wayne area including Amazon’s Delivery Center, Faurecia, and Sabert.
Potential businesses moving to these “shovel-ready” sites can fast-forward a development schedule and get a new facility up and running months faster than a non-certified site.
Essentially, all the work has already been completed and independently verified.
In addition to the Quality Site, work that I&M teams have done to build out our system within the park has made that an attractive area for businesses looking to locate to Fort Wayne.