PARSIPPANY, NJ. — Ferrero North America is continuing its expansion in the United States, this time with plans to open an innovation center featuring a strategic R&D laboratory in Chicago’s Marshall Field and Co. building.

According to Ferrero, the new 45,000-square-foot facility will unite the company’s R&D teams throughout the United States and also will house employees from Ferrero’s Old Post Office location.

“Our goal for this space is to reflect Ferrero’s unique heritage and provide an opportunity to create greater synergies among our teams,” said Todd Siwak, president and chief business officer of Ferrero North America. “This new space will foster the collaboration, creativity and culture that Ferrero is known for around the world. I am proud of our growing footprint in Illinois and strongly believe that this innovation center will propel our teams forward to become leaders in the sweet packaged foods category.”

Ferrero said its move into the new facility will take place in two phases. As part of the first phase, all current Ferrero Chicago employees will move to a temporary office space while construction is completed on the final space. The final office at the Marshall Field & Co. building is set to be completed by next spring.

In mid-June, Ferrero unveiled plans to invest approximately $214 million to expand its chocolate processing plant in Bloomington, Ill., that will be dedicated to processing the company’s Kinder Bueno line of products. The new line is scheduled to begin operating in 2024, according to the company.

The announcement followed anOctober 2001 groundbreakingfor the building of a $75 million chocolate processing plant that also will be based in Bloomington. That facility is scheduled to open in 2023.