LUBBOCK, Texas — Leprino Foods, the world’s largest maker of mozzarella cheese, will begin construction of its Lubbock plant in June. The company’s move to Lubbock marks the largest capital investment in Hub City’s history, which is expected to inject $10.6 billion into the local economy over the next decade.
“There aren’t many factories of this size in the world, and for Lubbock to have one is pretty incredible,” said Lubbock Economic Development Alliance President and CEO John Osborne.
The 850,000 square foot facility will be built just east of the 289 Loop on agricultural land between E. 19th Street and 4th Street.
The construction will bring an initial investment of $418.25 million and 300 jobs. LEDA said the facility will host 675 jobs when fully operational at the end of 2024.
The city council on Monday approved a tax abatement for Leprino Foods, exempting the company from paying property taxes on improvements it makes to the land for the next decade. The exemption is valued at nearly $22 million over 10 years — the maximum period allowed for reductions by state law.
As part of the agreement, Lubbock Utilities will supply water to the facility and the company will recycle it back into the community. According to LEDA, this is both an environmental and economic benefit that will provide the city with enough water for an additional 40,000 homes.
“I want to thank Leprino Foods not only for their investment, but also for the way they have run their business since choosing Lubbock,” Mr. Osborne said. “They really reached out to our community to see how they could be more environmentally friendly with this plant, [and] how they can fit into our business community that is already there.
Responding to concerns about the facility’s impact on air quality, odors and traffic flow in the East Lubbock community, LEDA said it was not concerned about any negative impacts from the plant. .
The building is a cheese factory, not a dairy factory, so they won’t be housing cows on the property but sourcing their milk from farmers in the southern plains. The city said it was impressed with Leprino’s footprint in its other communities and would expand 19th Street to accommodate increased traffic.