By Ryan Richardson
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A $14 million, cold-storage and transportation hub ultimately providing 50 new jobs is expected to crank up operations next summer in the Joplin-Webb City Industrial Park.
Don Coenen, co-owner and CEO of Don’s Cold Storage, along with Gov. Jay Nixon and several local officials, broke ground Thursday morning for a 115,000-square-foot plant that will house the initial operations. The plant will be Coenen’s first location outside of Rogers, Ark.
“This is a good location for us with fresh infrastructure,” Coenen said. “There is also a high concentration of some of the satellite businesses that we work with on a regular basis. It made sense to grow with them and to grow with Joplin.”
Plans call for two phases over the next two years or so, with the 115,000-square-foot plant being completed by late next June. A second phase will take place within the following year and possibly double the size of the plant, according to the company.
“We will follow the same model of our Rogers plant,” Coenen said. “Once we hit capacity, we will look to double our operation. We expect that to occur about a year to 18 months after we open up here.”
Don’s Cold Storage provides blast freezing, cold storage, dry storage and transportation services to several industries. Coenen cited Nixon and Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President Rob O’Brian as key parties to Joplin landing the business.
“Out of all of the sites and locations we looked at, these men helped make this happen for Joplin,” Coenen said.
Nixon commented on what the new jobs would mean to the state in remarks before the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Through consistent fiscal discipline, holding the line on taxes and supporting local communities like Joplin, we’ve created a climate where businesses are investing in Missouri and creating jobs,” said Nixon, who is running for re-election.
He also cited the latest unemployment numbers from the Missouri Department of Economic Development as a sign that the state’s economic situation is improving.
“We are at 6.9 percent unemployment, and we are exporting more across the board,” Nixon said. “We can continue to move forward with development in Missouri by being an attractive destination for new businesses.”
WITH THE PROSPECT of new jobs for Missouri, Don Coenen’s business may be eligible for strategic economic incentives based on the amount of full-time jobs created by the new plant, officials said.