Mountaire plan for new corporate headquarters etched on its industrial campus

MILLSBORO – Mountaire Farms of Delaware’s plans for a new corporate headquarters are staying on home turf.

Sussex County’s Planning & Zoning Commission, July 9, approved a preliminary site plan for a two-story corporate headquarters facility to be located on Mountaire’s sprawling campus east of Millsboro.

According to Mountaire spokesman Mike Tirrell, the scope of the project is a 37,000 square-foot building.

While design is not 100-percent complete, Mountaire has budgeted $10 million for the new corporate headquarters.

“We’re hoping to occupy the building sometime in the summer of 2016,” said Mr. Tirrell.

The new headquarters could offer the potential for some additional employment.

“But the primary occupants will be current Mountaire employees from offices around Sussex County – in Selbyville, Millsboro and other places,” said Mr. Tirrell.

The site improvements are located along John J. Williams Highway and Maryland Camp Road. Mountaire’s property is already zoned heavy industrial.

Earlier this spring Mountaire eyed approximately 58 acres of a nearly 300-acre parcel west of Millsboro for a proposed office complex. The poultry company’s legal counsel ultimately notified the County Planning & Zoning Office of Mountaire’s intention to withdraw its application in mid-April.

That property, owned by the Grace United Methodist Church, borders Revel Road at the intersection of Wiley Branch Road in Dagsboro Hundred. The prospective deal spurred concern from area residents and others who feared a portion of that huge tract might someday be utilized for poultry processing.

The preliminary site plan approved by Planning & Zoning also included a footprint for future expansion of Mountaire’s hatchery complex, also located on Mountaire’s campus.

“The hatchery expansion … is just a future potential,” Mr. Tirrell said. “Expansion is not a current project. It was just a dotted line put on the plot plan in order to make sure we had proper fire lanes and proper storm-water retention engineering. But there is no hatchery project contemplated at this time.”

Greg Esham, Mountaire project engineer, shared information on the hatchery in a presentation before the Planning & Zoning Commission.

“A few years ago we put an addition on the hatchery on the east side, and our plans are probably within the next coming year to add onto the other end. It’s not anything to do with a chicken processing plant,” said Mr. Esham

The main reason the hatchery might need to be expanded is the “equipment in the existing building is currently outdated and really old – built back in the early 80s. It is simpler to build a building, have new equipment and then demo the existing (building),” Mr. Esham said.

Planning & Zoning’s preliminary site plan approval is subject to Sussex County staff’s receipt of permit approval from all required agencies. County staff has received DelDOT approval, and is awaiting other agency approvals.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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