Tasty Baking breaks ground on manufacturing facility

by Eric Schroeder
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PHILADELPHIA — Tasty Baking Co. announced it has broken ground on its new manufacturing facility at the entrance to The Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The company first announced its intent to relocate its corporate headquarters and Philadelphia operations in May 2007. Site preparation work on the 25 acre bakery site began last summer and has been completed. Additionally, the building permit for the project has been obtained.

"Since the announcement of our new facility last year, we have been working with our partners to develop all of the construction documents needed to build the bakery and engineer the manufacturing equipment we will need," said Charles Pizzi, president and chief executive officer of Tasty Baking.

Autumn Bayles, senior vice-president of strategic operations and leader of the project, added, "We have ordered most major components of the new equipment and the project is proceeding on time and on budget. We are working very closely with Liberty Property Trust, their architects, Cubellis, and their engineers, AKF, on the building construction design. We are also working with our third-party engineer, Fluor Corp., on the equipment design and utilizing their building advisory services."

The 345,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, which will include production, warehousing and distribution, is scheduled to open in late 2009 and be fully operational by mid-2010.

Liberty also is developing Tasty Baking’s new corporate headquarters in the Navy Yard Corporate Center. The company will lease 35,000 square feet in the 95,000-square-foot, three-story Class A, sustainable design office building.

"We are pleased with the progress of the project," said Paul Ridder, senior vice-president and chief financial officer of Tasty Baking. "As disclosed last year, we closed on our new credit facility in September 2007. Our original estimates of approximately $13 million to $15 million in annual cash savings, net of facility leases and before debt service, have not changed. As we move toward the completion of the new bakery, we believe that this project will be an important value driver for our shareholders given the estimated cash savings and increased production flexibility the new, state-of-the-art equipment will give us."

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