King’s Hawaiian plant gains zoning board approvals

Developers have received their first approvals to bring up to a half million square foot Kings Hawaiian bakery to northwestern Bartholomew County.

Company officials said that the company is looking at several sites around the country and landed on Bartholomew County as an ideal location. The development would be built on an 88-acre parcel on North County Road 200W near Taylorsville. That will be just north of the the intersection of U.S. 31 and Interstate 65.

Joe Leonardo led the site search for the company and explained the choice to the Bartholomew County Board of Zoning Appeals this week.

Leonardo explained the project to the board, calling its ties to King’s Hawaiian a terribly kept secret.

Called “Project Whiteboard” in its planning documents, the Kings Hawaiian plant would be the company’s third facility in the country. Leonardo said the company already operates plants in California and Georgia and the Bartholomew County facility would be a state-of-the art facility.

Initial plans call for a  380,000 square foot plant with future phases to include a cold storage facility and a possible second plant on the site with an estimated investment of $180 million dollars. If all the phases are built, it would eventually bring more than 140 jobs to the county.

The company asked for several accommodations at this week’s zoning board meeting including allowing portions of the building to be 100 feet tall, 50 feet taller than allowed under the current zoning. They also asked for variances on wellfield protection requirements and requested larger than normal signage. Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp operates a wellfield just to the southeast of the proposed facility and county ordinances require safeguarding clean drinking water by those who want to build within a wellfield protection area.

The zoning board gave its approval to the height variance and the wellwater request with eight conditions suggested by the company including working with Eastern Bartholomew water to ensure safety of the wellfield.

The signage request was continued while the company gets its proposal lined up.