White Castle intends to double size of Vandalia plant

White Castle officially opened its Vandalia frozen food facility in Vandalia in 2014. FILE
White Castle officially opened its Vandalia frozen food facility in Vandalia in 2014. FILE

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

White Castle is “100% committed" to an expansion that would approximately double the size of its manufacturing and processing plant in the Stonequarry Business Park in Vandalia, a company vice president said Wednesday.

“Never say ‘never,’ but we’re 100% committed to moving forward," Jamie Richardson, White Castle vice president, told the Dayton Daily News Wednesday.

The Columbus-based family-owned restaurant chain will also invest $10 million in equipment there, according to Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority documents made public this week.

White Castle broke ground for its current 100,000-square-foot facility near Dayton International Airport in July 2012, and Richardson said that operation, with 160 employees today, has proven to be a good investment for the business. The expansion will lead to at least 30 additional jobs and more possibly more beyond that, he said.

Located on 17 acres, the Vandalia plant was designed to produce more than 16,000 hamburgers per hour per production line. The plant opened in late 2013, quickly hiring more than 100 employees in early days.

When this expansion goes forward, construction of an addition will start in January 2021 and be completed in December that year, according to Richardson and Port Authority documents.

In a meeting with Port Authority trustees this week, Joseph Geraghty, executive director of the Port Authority, cautioned trustees that White Castle could move the expansion to Kentucky, while retaining a presence in Vandalia. The expansion was not a certainty, he believed at the time.

FILE
FILE

“What the company has said, by doubling the size of that facility, it could ultimately put two productions lines in there,” Geraghty said. “Each production line is about 30 new employees.”

Port Authority trustees approved involvement in the project, unanimously approving a capital lease structure that would shield the White Castle expansion from sales taxes on materials purchased for construction in Vandalia.

“My sense is that we’re going to continue to be a winner, given our locale in the U.S.," Geraghty said.

The 99-year-old fast food chain and food producer says it “pioneered” the fast food hamburger and later the frozen distribution of its iconic Slider. The original Vandalia plant was built for $19.4 million.

Investing further into Vandalia means the company is “hopefully racing toward the next 100 years," Richardson said.

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