Lusamerica Foods has acquired a Trident Seafoods processing plant. (Photo: Lusamerica/ Trident)
Seafood processor buys plant for USD 4.5 mln
Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
Seafood processor Lusamerica Foods Inc on Friday completed the purchase of the former Trident Seafoods Corp plant in Fife for USD 4.5 million, according to company broker Steve Offenbecher of Coldwell Banker Commercial real estate.
The Morgan Hill, California-based firm will make the 82,000 sqft space into a distribution and processing centre for its entry into the Pacific Northwest market and will reopen in June. The plant already includes cooler/freezer storage, loading docks, processing areas and offices spread across 4.5 acres.
Lusamerica will create about 50 jobs: processors, warehouse workers, drivers and administrators, among other positions, beginning in May, said company president Fernando Frederico. The firm is collaborating with California’s Employment Security Department for hiring.
If Lusamerica succeeds at developing new markets and sources for seafoods, the new Fife staff could grow to as many as 100 workers in the next two years, Frederico said, reports The News Tribune.
Originally constructed by Japanese surimi manufacturer Nichirei Inc, the plant was sold to Trident Seafood in 1999 and then closed in March 2007, when Trident bought a facility in Minnesota, where it merged its processing.
Lusamerica will mainly process salmon at the plant for distribution to retailers and restaurants.
The company had been thinking about expanding into the Northwest for several years, Frederico said. It then made the decision to spread out late in 2009 and began seeking a site.
Lusamerica thought about constructing a new plant and remodeling existing spaces, Offenbecher informed. But the Trident plant was the best fit due to its design for seafood processing.
Frederico thanked local civic and economic development leaders for facilitating the purchase process.
The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Pierce County will issue up to USD 5.1 million in industrial revenue bonds to cut the cost of the plant acquisition, said Senior Vice President of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County Susan Suess. Said bonds carry an interest rate typically 1.5-2 per cent lower than regular commercial bonds.
Founded in 1975, Lusamerica began as a small importer of specialty foods before moving into the seafood distribution industry. It now features a full line of fresh and frozen products, acquired locally and flown daily from all over the world, with delivery service six days a week.
By Natalia Real