The tea manufacturer said it’s ready to break ground Sunday on the $15 million to $19 million factory on Westec Drive, off West 11th Avenue.
The plant will be a short distance from Eugene’s largest industrial building, the former Hynix chip factory, now owned and soon to be refurbished by Broadcom.
Yogi Tea’s expansion first was revealed through planning documents filed with the city last year.
The plant is expected to open in early summer 2017, CEO Conrad Myers said. There’s room on the 13-acre site for an additional 70,000-square-foot expansion.
East West Tea Co., Yogi’s parent company, employs 114 of its 134 U.S. workers in the Eugene-Springfield area at various locations. Company officials expect to add 30 to 40 local employees during the next few years, following the expansion.
Yogi Tea is the last remnant of Golden Temple of Oregon, a food and beverage company started by the local Sikh community in the early 1970s, which grew into a big player in Lane County’s natural food industry.
The company operates out of a 38,000-square-foot headquarters and factory at 950 International Way in Springfield’s Gateway area, a 32,000-square-foot warehouse in west Eugene and a 14,000-square-foot warehouse in Coburg.
Those locations will close, and its local employees will all move into the Westec Drive building — which will be used to process, sift and ferment tea leaves — when construction wraps up.
The building will dwarf just about every industrial building constructed in Eugene during the past 10 years. The last industrial project to eclipse it in size was a 187,000-square-foot warehouse built in 2007 for Tualatin-based Lumber Products, according to Eugene permit and Lane County property records.
The last industrial building to approach the scope of Yogi Tea’s plant was a 94,000-square-foot expansion at cold storage company SnoTemp in 2013.
Yogi Tea’s plant will be about 45,000 square feet larger than the downtown Eugene Public Library building — not counting the parking garage underneath the library.
But it will be just about one-seventh the size of the 1.2 million-square-foot former Hynix plant a half-mile south.