Frito-Lay, one of Purchase-based PepsiCo’s brands, wants to build a $100 million, 157,907-square-foot fulfillment center in the Dutchess County town of East Fishkill that would be used for warehousing and distribution of its various products that include, among others, Lays potato chips, Doritos tortilla chips, and Fritos corn chips.
An application to build the project was filed with the town by Rolling Frito-Lay Sales LP, a subsidiary of PepsiCo. It would be located in National Resources’ iPark 84, the 300-acre former IBM East campus situated at Exit 50 of Interstate 84.
Confidential discussions had been taking place with the town regarding the proposal before the application was filed. The proposal was given the name “Project Niagara” to avoid publicly identifying Frito-Lay or PepsiCo.
Frito-Lay is seeking an economic redevelopment special-use permit for the fulfillment center, which would be built on what is now an empty parking lot.
“This project will bring significant benefits not only to our local community but the entire region,” East Fishkill Town Supervisor Nicholas D’Alessandro said. “We are continuing the largest redevelopment era in East Fishkill’s history. The town government will continue to work with the public and private entities to keep East Fishkill a great place to live.”
The East Fishkill Town Board has scheduled a joint public hearing on the proposal with its Planning Board for Sept. 23.
Attorney Jennifer Gray of the law firm Keane & Beane, which has offices in East Fishkill, White Plains and New York City, said, “Frito-Lay looks forward to bringing good jobs and tax revenue to the town by redeveloping and revitalizing this empty parking lot as it exists today.“
She explained that a subdivision of most of the campus had taken place in 2017 and that Frito-Lay is proposing to take a portion of Lot 2 from the subdivision and a portion of Lot 3 and combine them to make a 28.4-acre lot for the project.
Gray said that Frito-Lay currently is the contract vendee for the property. She said that in addition to the 150,000-square-foot fulfillment center there would be two other structures: a guardhouse and a fleet center.
“The fulfillment center will utilize high-tech equipment to fulfill direct customer, consumer, orders. It will have within it what is called an ASRS, an automated storage and retrieval system,” Gray said.
She described the ASRS as a tall piece of machinery used to optimize the gathering of products for shipment while allowing for an efficient use of space .
“Because of that a portion of the building will need to be raised to be 85 feet in height,” Gray said, explaining they are seeking “a waiver to go from 80 feet to 85 feet just for that portion, about 25% of the building, for that machinery.” Most of the building would be about 50 feet in height.
Gray said that the fleet center would provide service and maintenance for vehicles that transport the products to and from the facility. The guardhouse would be a manned checkpoint for vehicles coming and going.
Gray said that site plan and subdivision approvals will be needed from the town’s Planning Board. She said that a full Environmental Assessment Form has been submitted that includes several studies, including traffic and noise.
“We are confident that the studies will demonstrate that the project will not result in any significant adverse environmental impact,” Gray said.
She said that Frito-Lay anticipates that 80 construction jobs would be created along with approximately 80 permanent jobs. She said that the pay level for the permanent jobs would be above the average for Dutchess County, but did not give a dollar amount.
Gray pointed out that while the project is expected to represent a $100 million investment and generate tax revenues, it would not create an added burden on the local school system.
The fulfillment center would have 20 loading docks. There would be 100 parking spaces for truck trailers and 13 parking spaces for the tractor portion of the trucking rigs. The plan calls for 108 parking spaces for cars.
It’s estimated there would be 36 people working in the fulfillment center at any given time, and a maximum of 72 workers on the site during a shift change that would occur at 4 a.m.