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Deal Allows ConAgra To Keep 350 Jobs in Ohio Community and Expand

The ConAgra plant in Archbold, Ohio, is an industrial plant that has manufactured the La Choy products for the food services company for many years. In the 2000s, as the company evaluated its infrastructure needs, leadership began to make plans for a change of location.

In 2007, ConAgra announced that the plant in Archbold would close, dealing a tough blow to this part of Ohio. Operations would move to other states, and the community would be losing more than 350 jobs.

Enter a cooperative lease-holder who acted in the best interest of the community. The approximately 500,000-square-foot facility where ConAgra operation is located was leased for four decades from Lawrence Kadish Real Estate, a New York-based company.

ConAgra no longer wanted to lease its facility, but there was one possibility that the company would negotiate. The company stipulated that if they could buy the property, they would stay where they were, and the community could keep those jobs.

“We preferred to lease,” acknowledged Will Kadish, who serves as Director of Development and Dispositions for Lawrence Kadish Real Estate. “But we also recognized that if we don’t sell, we’re going to hurt a whole town.”

The real estate company agreed with the manufacturer to sell the property at the low rate of approximately $2 a square foot sale. “We took a really discounted price,” William Kadish said.

Not only did the ConAgra continue operations at its Archbold plant, the company also recently announced plans to expand the plant as it consolidates operations with a plant in Missouri.  According to news reports, the operational infrastructure of the Archbold plant is the primary driver for the decision to relocate operations currently based in Trenton, MO. The Archbold plant is more modern and has more capacity, which will allow for ConAgra to operate more efficiently.

“They have demonstrated a real commitment to this community,” Will Kadish said.

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Contact Will Kadish, Executive Director of Commercial Real Estate Development and Disposition for Lawrence Kadish Real Estate, a New York-based firm.