Food and beverage giant Nestle is looking to build a new manufacturing plant on about 150 acres in the West Valley, according to multiple sources.
The 150-acre site on the southeast corner of Reems Road and Northern Parkway just north of Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, a fast-growing West Valley city that’s dominating in industrial growth.
Sources with knowledge of the deal say the company, through codename Project Raven, wants to build a rail-served manufacturing plant for oat milk coffee creamer. Nestle is the parent company of Coffee-mate and Coffee-mate’s Natural Bliss brand, which produces plant-based creamers.
It’s unclear exactly what size the facility could be or whether it will produce any of the company’s other products.
Arlington-based Nestle USA did not respond to requests for information or comment about the project. The city of Glendale and The Greater Phoenix Economic Council declined to comment on the project.
The Switzerland-based company purchased 151 acres through Industrial Land LLC, which county records show is connected to Giulio Gerardo, a chief financial officer for Nestle. Industrial Land LLC purchased the site from Western Trans LLC, an entity connected to Leyton Woolf, in December.
The site Nestle purchased also sits within the Woolf Logistics Center, a 1,340-acre industrial park that has seen activity pick up significantly with recent land sales, planned industrial buildings and the expansion of the Red Bull manufacturing facility. The park is also home to Mark Anthony Brewing’s manufacturing facility and proposed distribution center.
In December, Industrial Land LLC also entered into a railway improvement agreement with Western Trans LLC, according to county records. Through the sale, the agreement said the buyer will build railway improvements to connect the site with the existing BNSF railway line.
News of the potential plant comes as parts of the nation are experiencing shortages and increased prices for dairy products, according to recent reports. In December, Nestle USA wrote that Americans are also embracing more plant-based options, with 57% of American households purchasing plant-based foods in 2020.
The company’s website said it has 300 research and development employees focused solely on bringing new plant-based foods. In its 2020 annual report, Nestle said its goal is to be consumers’ go-to-choice for creamers.
Nestle already has a presence in the Phoenix metro, according to the company’s website, which said the company has 376 factories across 81 countries. A few years ago, Nestle shuttered its $35 million water-bottling plant at 43rd Avenue and Buckeye Road in Phoenix after announcing the facility in 2016. The company has a data center in Phoenix and offices.
According to multiple Q4 industrial reports, the industrial market broke more records in the last quarter of 2021. Colliers International’s most recent report said the Phoenix metro had a vacancy rate of 4.8%, while about 30 million square feet of space was under development in the fourth quarter.
Leasing has remained strong in the East and West Valleys. Some of the largest leases in the fourth quarter included Home Depot Inc. and Best Buy Inc. in Goodyear and Williams-Sonoma Inc. in Glendale.
Recently in Mesa, Amazon has proposed plans for multiple facilities, while Lowe’s signed a massive lease for 1.2 million square feet at The Cubes at Mesa Gateway.