Tuesday, July 19, 2005

SF salami company to build facility in Fairfield's Solano Business Park


SF salami company to build facility here

By Christine Cubé
- A Bay Area gourmet meat processing company snagged the last major piece of Solano Business Park in a bid to move its manufacturing operations here.

Columbus Salame, (http://www.columbussalame.com/index.php) which is known for its dry-cured, specialty meats and salami, recently bought a 22-acre parcel adjacent to Professional Hospital Supply, where it plans to build a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, said officials close to the deal.

Phil Garrett, managing partner with Colliers International, who assisted in bringing Columbus Salame to Fairfield with the help of San Francisco real estate agent Primo Repetto, declined to comment on the actual sale price of the land.

Construction for the new facility will cost roughly $40 a square foot, Garrett added. At a minimum, the building shell will cost $10 million before the move-in of any production or manufacturing equipment.

Executives with Columbus Salame didn't return calls seeking comment.

The deal with Columbus Salame has been in the works since initial contact was made early last year, said Joe Lucchio, economic development project manager with the city of Fairfield.

"They looked at other jurisdictions and felt that Fairfield offered the best location," Lucchio said, mentioning the company also considered Busch Corporate Center for its manufacturing facility. "We met with (Columbus Salame) representatives and toured one of their processing facilities in Hayward. They wanted to expand and consolidate operations."

Actual development will be done in phases and completion of the building is expected within 36 months. The company plans to bring certain business functions such as packaging and distribution to the new facility, Lucchio said. Employees here will number about 200, he added.

"I'm sure they'll (relocate) some employees, but I would anticipate the majority of the employees at the facility will be hired here," Lucchio said.

The most recent company similar to Columbus Salame to move to Fairfield was Englehart Gourmet Foods, which moved into Busch Corporate Center following the completion of its building in mid-2003.

It's a big deal for the region to land a tenant such as Columbus Salame, said Brooks Pedder, managing partner with Colliers International.

"It's really important to get people that invest money in the facility and that makes them a permanent neighbor and not a transitory neighbor," Pedder said.

Solano EDC vice president Sandy Person agreed.

"This is precisely the type of employer that the community is seeking to attract," she said. "It's an ideal scenario: A longtime San Francisco company seeking to grow and expand will now call Solano County and Fairfield home."

Reach Christine Cubé at 427-6934 or ccube@dailyrepublic.net.

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