Renzi OK’d to expand facility

Renzi Foodservice is planning an expansion of its facility at 901 Rail Drive. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — An expansion at the Renzi Foodservice facility in the City Center Industrial Park is slated to start this fall.

The city’s Planning Board on Tuesday approved the site plans for 38,176 square feet in additional office and warehouse space at its existing facility, with potential plans for further expansion.

The City Council is expected to discuss the site plans for the facility at 901 Rail Drive, off South Bellew Avenue, at its Aug. 16 meeting.

The company’s facility now consists of nearly 70,000 square feet of cold storage and 42,153 square feet of warehouse space. The new warehouse addition would be built on the north east side of the current facility.

The project also includes 24 additional parking spaces for tractor trailers, a 51-space parking lot for cars and an additional access drive onto South Bellew Avenue.

According to paperwork submitted to the city, the company says the project is “continued construction of phased-in building” that began in 2005.

City and Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency officials have been expecting the expansion for a while.

Work on the project will begin this fall on “the asphalt” portion of the project, said Matthew R. Morgia, an engineer with Aubertine and Currier Architects, the firm designing the project.

Its fleet of trucks now park in two sections of the property, he added.

“The trucks park now where they fit,” he said about a sandy section on the north side of the building, where the expansion will be located.

The site plan approval is contingent that Renzi talks to JCIDA officials about traffic going over the agency’s property. This past spring, the company and the JCIDA swapped property where a railroad line passed through the industrial park.

Without exchanging ownership of the land, Renzi’s property was landlocked and prevented further expansion.

Future expansion would occur in phases, with additions built on the other three sides of the building for frozen, cold and dry storage, Mr. Morgia said.

He could not provide information about how many jobs the initial expansion will create. The JCIDA also is expected to help financially with the project.

The JCIDA also recently submitted an application for $4.5 million in federal funding to create a second entrance to the industrial park that would help ease truck traffic into and out of the company’s site.

The second entrance would be created by building a road to Coleman Avenue, near the Raymour & Flanigan plaza on Arsenal Street.

News of the Renzi expansion comes at a time when Roth Industries is undergoing a major project of its own in the industrial park. Located across the street, Roth Industries is in the midst of a $5.5 million expansion that will lead to a one-third increase in production at its manufacturing plant.

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