Economic Development Director Says Starke County Still on SYSCO’s Radar

 Houston-based SYSCO Corporation still plans to build a regional hub in Hamlet, according to Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver. He told the county council he talks to SYSCO officials every two months.

“They say this is still part of their plan, as is the facility in Texas, but the people I talk to don’t have any idea when.”

In February of 2006, SYSCO announced plans to build a redistribution center near the intersection of U.S. 35 and 30 as part of the company’s Supply Chain Initiative project. At the time the company said the expansion would create 500 local jobs.

Weaver says some work will be done on the site later this year to address drainage problems. He says the company plans to use local contractors for tile work. Weaver says SYSCO also has to clear debris left over from the removal of trees from the ditches. He says he’s spoken to SYSCO officials about the need to come back and finish that work. Weaver suspects they will apply for permits from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to do burning on site.

SYSCO purchased 320 acres of land near Hamlet in July of 2007 and decided in 2009 to proceed with construction. The project has been in limbo since due to the weak national economy. Last summer’s replacement of the bridge on U.S. 35 south of U.S. 30 was done in part to accommodate rail cars for the SYSCO site.