In January 2021, JCW Development, LLC a nation-wide real estate and property development company, announced Albert Lea, MN, was selected as the future home of Vortex Cold Storage, LLC.
Vortex Cold Storage built 170,000 square feet of state-of-the art temperature controlled Safe Quality Food Certified (SQF) storage, with available temperatures ranging from 40 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The facility also provides fully customizable warehouse services, including a secure gated yard and trailer storage.
“When the Vortex Cold Storage project was still just a concept, a team of experts came together to research sites, begin conceptual design, and source local food companies to commit to the facility,” explained Ben Westra, president of JCW Development. “The entire Vortex team is thankful for our new partnership with the State of Minnesota, City of Albert Lea, Albert Lea Economic Development Agency and Freeborn-Mower Electric Cooperative, and for their collective help to bring this world-class facility into existence.”
Interest was strong from the regional food manufacturing and processing community, and the company was able to secure tenants for the cold storage facility. Groundbreaking occurred in Spring 2021 and the building’s grand opening was celebrated in June 2022.
This $30 million dollar project eased the pressure in the southern Minnesota region on an aging and full- to-capacity frozen supply chain. Nearly 48% of existing cold storage facilities were built before 1980. Strategically located at the intersection of interstates 90 and 35, Vortex Cold Storage applied state-of-the art technology and facility design to bring valuable storage capacity to the food businesses of southern Minnesota and the Albert Lea community.
During the uncertainty of 2020 and 2021, the community of Albert Lea proved its ability to partner together and see this project through. This project would not have been possible without the partnerships between the City of Albert Lea, Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, and Freeborn-Mower Electric Cooperative. Incentives provided included tax increment financing, tax abatement, and land price reduction.
Since the building was completed and activity began, Vortex Cold Storage has been recognized in their field with awards for their design and innovative cold storage technologies. Albert Lea looks forward to the future of Vortex Cold Storage.