Breakthru Beverage seeks to build new Middletown HQ
MIDDLETOWN — Breakthru Beverage, a leading alcohol beverage wholesaler in North America, is seeking to move its Delaware headquarters south of the C&D Canal, bringing 90 jobs with it.
Reid Townsend, of the Baltimore-based developer MRP Industrial, said his firm is looking to build a 285,000-square-foot warehouse with a two-story office and salesroom on Levels Road, just south of the Amazon fulfillment center. There will be room to expand the warehouse up to 375,000 square feet if needed. The project is expected to break ground in October and to be operating by the first quarter of 2021.
Plans submitted to Middletown officials show the warehouse would “consolidate other locations throughout the state.” Breakthru Beverage has a Delaware headquarters on Churchman’s Road, right next to its competitor N.K.S. Distributors. N.K.S. Distributors announced earlier this year it would be building a new $30 million headquarters in Smyrna and also consolidating its operations there.
Breakthru Beverage’s move to Middletown would bring 60 office employees and 30 additional staff for peak operations. Earlier plans with town officials suggest that the headcount could eventually grow to as many as 250 jobs.
Buoyed by Amazon’s success in the First State and the several acres of available land near the U.S. Route 301 bypass, Townsend said that Breakthru Beverage Delaware could be a catalyst to draw future industrial/warehouse projects. MPI Industrial is subdividing 25 acres of 261 acres in that area for the distribution center.
“We’re in the industrial business across the northeast, and we’ve got our finger on the pulse of the market. These are very large lots for Middletown, so we think this helps spark demand,” Townsend said during the Middletown Planning Commission meeting Thursday. “It’s not every day that an Amazon wants to build a million-square-foot warehouse, but these are the right size for the market.”
Breakthru Beverage sells wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic brands across the country, representing brands like MillerCoors, Guinness, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Red Bull. With 36 facilities across North America, the company as a whole represents $5 billion in annual sales.
Breakthru Beverage Delaware sells approximately 1.8 million cases per year to licensed on- and off-premise accounts.
The Levels Road project would not require a rezoning, since it is already zoned manufacturing/industrial. Jim Curran with KCI Technologies, the engineering firm for the project, said that the developers would widen Levels Road and would work further with the town on other road improvements at the Merrimac Avenue intersection.
By Katie Tabeling