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Is a second French Fry Plant coming to Caldwell, Idaho?

McCain Foods USA is for a second time considering to buy a property in the Sky Ranch Business Center in Caldwell, Idaho. (Courtesy: Google Streetview)

According to local news paper Idaho Press, McCain Foods USA is looking to buy a property for a 100,000 square feet facility in Caldwell, Idaho, for what we assume would be production plant for frozen french fries.

This would be the second french fry production plant in Caldwell, as the city is also home to the 380.000 square foot potato processing plant from J.R. Simplot, constructed in 2014.

The site McCain Foods is looking at is a 20 acres property in Sky Ranch Business Center.

It is not the first time McCain Foods USA is looking at properties in Caldwell: last summer, McCain foods was considering a 17-acre property, also in the Sky Ranch Business Center to build a nearly 164,000-square-foot facility.

However, because the business was unable to negotiate with the city, the project was put to a halt. At the time, the project was dubbed “Project Russell”, according to Idaho Press.

Steve Fultz, Caldwell Economic Development Director:

“At one point we thought we may have lost the project, and then when it was kind of resurrected ... that’s why it had a different name.”
It wasn’t until the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency bought a 20-acre property, located off Smeed Parkway near the Idaho Department of Labor, in September that McCain Foods began to show interest in Caldwell again, Fultz said.

In December, the urban renewal agency considered a letter of intent for “Project White,” now known to be McCain Foods, for the property. Urban renewal bought the property for $1.7 million from Freehold Development.

Now, nearly seven months after “Project Russell” fell through, McCain Foods is again proposing to build a facility. This time, it would be about 100,000 square feet.

On Monday, Caldwell’s Urban Renewal Agency will consider a resolution to “authorize the execution of the purchase and sale agreement with McCain Foods for the purchase of 20 acres located in the Sky Ranch Business Center.”

Two grants awarded to McCain Foods in June for the previous project may still be available if the company still meets the criteria, Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas said.

McCain had previously secured a $200,000 urban renewal Business Incentive Grant for job creation and a $200,000 infrastructure grant.

The job creation grant, which awards $10,000 per qualified job, up to 20 jobs, would be awarded to McCain Foods only if they decide to build the facility and begin hiring people.

Fultz said McCain Foods has been looking at other locations in Idaho, as well as outside of the state.