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Isla Frio Refrigeration Corp. investing $6M to develop former PepsiCo plant in Cidra

Puerto Rican firm Isla Frio Refrigeration Corp. announced its acquisition of the former PepsiCo plant in the town of Cidra, which it will split into several areas for different services.

In all, the firm invested $3 million in the property that closed down after Hurricane María pummeled the island in 2017. The property did not sustain any damages, said Bismark Marquez, general manager of Isla Frio, adding that the property was purchased in March 2020.

The executive told this media outlet that the 147,000 square-foot property that sits on eight acres will house a new frozen and refrigerated warehouse providing 50,000 square feet of storage.

A parent company has been created under the name of Isla Frio Real Estate, which will be leasing about 90,000 square feet suitable for manufacturing or distribution with process areas, water processing machinery, treatment plant, storage and distribution areas with 30-foot high ceilings and seven loading docks, he said.

“Our goal is to provide hurricane-resistant cold and dry storage accessibility for the entire island. The facility is equipped with a diesel generator to ensure that goods remain at the right temperature in the event of a power outage. The ability to carry out U.S. Department of Agriculture import/export inspections is also planned,” Marquez said.

The warehouse will also provide administrative area space suitable for a call center, and medical offices, among others, he said.

The initial development phase should generate between 15 and 20 jobs, he said, but once operational, the facility should once again jumpstart the town’s economy, as well as activity in the neighboring zone.

As part of the construction project, Isla Frio is looking into using sustainable energy, such as solar energy, and on the inside, it will rely on environmentally friendly Viking Cold Solutions, “a proven energy-saving cold storage technology,” he said.

The company expects to launch operation by the end of the year, Marquez said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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