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VOL. 125 | NO. 224 | Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Riviana PILOT Headlines IDB Meeting

By Sarah Baker

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Riviana Foods Inc. is looking for a tax break for its recently consolidated manufacturing and processing facility at 2314 S. Lauderdale St.

Houston-based Riviana Foods is one of the largest processors, marketers and distributors of branded and private-label rice products in the United States, and has been the industry leader of consumer rice products since 1911.

The company will ask the Industrial Development Board of Memphis and Shelby County for a $10.4 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) at the IDB’s monthly meeting Wednesday. The new expansion will add 20 more Memphis jobs.

The new project will allow the company to produce and distribute microwaveable, ready-to-serve rice products under its Minute rice brand, the PILOT application states.

The rice manufacturer plans to spend approximately $1.3 million finishing out the building area for the new production lines. The remaining $9.1 million will be spent on manufacturing machinery and equipment necessary to produce and process the products.

Riviana Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ebro Foods S.A., a Spanish food group that specializes in rice and pasta products. Ebro Foods introduced its products to the U.S. in 2006.

Riviana previously obtained a 12-year real property and personal property PILOT incentive for the purchase of approximately 31 acres of land at 2314 S. Lauderdale St.

The money funded the construction of and equipment for an approximately 400,000-square-foot manufacturing, processing and distribution plant after demolishing dilapidated warehouses that formerly occupied the South Memphis site.

In connection with that PILOT, Riviana committed to approximately $63 million in capital expenditures and approximately 121 new jobs. The existing plant is ultimately expected to employ 300 workers, up from its 2006 total of 179.

In addition, Riviana opened a 27,000-square-foot overflow equipment facility at 363 Burma Road just last month.

Also on the agenda is the possibility of Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers-Memphis LLC receiving up to $17.5 million in reallocated Recovery Zone Facility Bonds for the Highland Row project next to the University of Memphis campus.

Poag and McEwen received a $7 million redistribution of federal bonds at IDB’s October meeting after Memphis Bioworks Foundation withdrew its Memphis Specialized Laboratory LLC project due to the company’s inability to meet the end-of-the-year deadline.

At Wednesday’s meeting the board will also consider a request from American Esoteric Laboratories (AEL) to add additional personal property to its 2009 PILOT and diversity reports from YMCA and Jabil Circuit Inc., an electronics solutions company.

The IDB meets Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Memphis City Hall, 125 N. Main St., in Conference Room A on the fourth floor.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 72 238 10,116
MORTGAGES 103 297 13,172
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 40 2,578
BUILDING PERMITS 0 370 23,894
BANKRUPTCIES 75 227 9,760
BUSINESS LICENSES 20 71 3,674
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 126 390 14,353
MARRIAGE LICENSES 15 68 3,131

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