By Betsy Dolan
Niagara Bottling, LLC, the nation’s second largest producer of bottled water, will build a new plant at the Lakeview Business Park in Missouri City. The announcement was made at the City Council meeting on Monday, May 21 when the council unanimously voted to approve a tax abatement agreement with the California based company. “We’re glad we’re finally able to announce this,” said Missouri City Mayor, Allen Owen. “We’ve held it a secret for far too long.”
The new 350,000 square foot bottling facility will initially have two production lines with capacity to expand to four. The plant will employ 60 people with hopes to expand to 100 once all four production lines are operational.
The building will have an estimated $14 million in taxable value, with an additional $29 million in taxable value through equipment installed at the facility. Niagara Bottling V.P. of Operations, Brian Hess, told the council that Missouri City, more than any other city they considered, most exemplified the values that Niagara stands for.
“First of all we consider ourselves a family owned business not a corporation,” Hess said. “We started with multiple states, multiple counties, multiple cities and you start making the cuts and the thing that makes a difference to us are the personal relationships. We are thrilled to be here, it will be a tremendous project and this is really the best place for us.”
Niagara, which had been looking for a site in which to build a new bottling facility in the Houston area for the last five months, has eleven other plants across the nation including two that opened last year in North Carolina and Arizona and a plant that is slated to open in 2012 in Colorado. The company, which has been in business since 1963, bottles water under their own name as well as under secondary private labels for Costco and most major grocery store chains.
“Niagara has talked about being a part of this community from day one,” Owen said. ” So many corporations today take advantage of situations and they’re take, take, take, but this company wants to be a good corporate partner.”
Niagara employs 1,400 people and hopes to have the Missouri City plant open by the first quarter of 2013.