NORTHAMPTON, MASS. >> Coca-Cola has announced plans to shutter a Massachusetts bottling plant in summer 2023, leaving its 319 employees to find new jobs.
The beverage giant announced plans Wednesday to close the Northampton plant ,as well as sell facilities in Michigan, Missouri and Texas to Refresco, which the company says are unrelated, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.
“After careful consideration, The Coca-Cola Company has decided to close our production facility in Northampton, Massachusetts,” the company said in a statement. “We did not make this decision lightly and are grateful to have had the opportunity to have been a part of the Northampton community.”
Mayor David Narkewicz said Thursday that this will be a major economic loss for the city. Narkewicz said the plant is the city’s largest manufacturer, water customer and taxpayer.
The property is assessed at $17.7 million, according to city tax records, and the company pays about $306,000 in annual property taxes.
The company has benefited from a 13-year tax increment financing agreement with the city that lowered taxes by 50% for the first seven years and by 25% for the remainder. The agreement expires in summer 2023.
Narkewicz said that representatives informed him that the closure is tied to a restructuring plan that will also close a facility in California.
“There were significant investments by the state and the city to keep them here and help them expand,” he said. However, “Northampton is caught up in a larger model of corporate restructuring.”
State Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, D-Northampton, said that the announcement is “both surprising and disappointing, particularly at a time when there has been so much focus on getting people back to work.”
“I will be curious to hear why a company whose revenue grew 42% last year is closing a location that has long been an important part of the community, a community that has worked hard to accommodate their needs,” Sabadosa said.
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