OPN Connect Newsletter 307 · February 16, 2023

Growers Ice Redevelopment on Target for 2026

The $250 million project to redevelop the 28-acre Growers Ice Company (GIC) campus in Salinas, CA, into the most technologically advanced pre-cooling and cold-storage facility in the nation is on track, with an expected opening in early 2026.

“We are definitely on track to open in 2026,” said CEO Jim White of the what will be a 400,000-square-foot facility with dedicated space for the handling of organic produce.

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Jim White, CEO, Growers Ice Company

For the past two years White’s team has been securing the funding and putting all the regulatory provisions in place for both the demolition of the current campus and the construction of the new one.

“We expect to begin the demo phase in early 2024 and then begin construction,” White said. “We are planning to open the facility in time for the beginning of the 2026 season in Salinas.”

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Janice Parker Landscape Architects, Greenwich, CT

The new facility will be state-of-the-art and far superior to any cooler that exists in the Salinas Valley today. During the design phase of the project, every effort has been made to make it environmentally friendly and sustainable. He said alternative energy sources will be utilized as well as the latest technology in water conservation and efficiency.

“We are planning to open the facility in time for the beginning of the 2026 season in Salinas.” - Jim White

In late December, in preparation for the management of the GIC Campus, Post Harvest Technologies (PHT) announced that as of January 1, 2023, it was merging two of its portfolio companies: Growers Custom Equipment (headquartered in Yuma, AZ) and Facilities Management Group (based in Salinas).

Fox Packaging January February 2024

“We are excited to unite two leading players in the ag-tech space,” said White, who is chairman and CEO of PHT. “This merger will enhance our ability to meet our primary goals of food safety, sustainability, and energy performance in all our operations.”

Scott Klein, Director of External Affairs, Dr. Jim White, Jakob Levison, Senior Associate, Business Development & Investor Relations, pictured under the iconic Growers Ice Company water tower

Growers Custom Equipment is a state-of-the-art, ecofriendly engineering and manufacturing company for agricultural pre-cooling equipment. It custom designs, engineers, and manufactures products, reaching end users nationwide. Its array of cooling systems includes hydrocoolers, vacuum tubes, ice injectors, and ice storage units.

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Facilities Management Group (FMG) provides service, maintenance, repairs, parts sales, consulting, and operational expertise for facility operators in the cold storage industry. FMG also offers compliance and safety expertise based on its diverse chemical safety and ammonia system knowledge. 

During the design phase of the GIC campus redevelopment project, every effort has been made to make it environmentally friendly and sustainable.

“Growers Custom Equipment will remain in its Yuma location with a name change to Facilities Management Group, thus creating two strategic arms of FMG in Salinas and Yuma,” White said.

Janice Parker Landscape Architects, Greenwich, CT

“Rather than continue as separate entities, we are creating a new division of Facilities Management Group to handle the manufacturing of pre-cooling equipment—the former role of Growers Custom Equipment,” White added.

He told OPN Connect that FMG is the entity that will be managing the redeveloped GIC Campus.

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