Jimmy Dean’s parent company, the Sara Lee Corporation, confirmed they are not moving into Polk County.
Eric McDonald, Polk County Chamber of Commerce president, said the old 40-year-old metal building simply isn’t food-grade.
“I ran expert after expert, engineer after engineer and even some real estate people through it,” McDonald said. “The reality is it is a 40-year old building and it’s at the end of its usefulness.”
McDonald said the reality is disappointing because Jimmy Dean has looked “for years and years out there.”
Pierre Foods out of Cincinnati, which currently owns the building, had made an offer to the chamber to give the property to the community to get it off its books, according to McDonald.
However, he said the chamber decided Thursday, March 18, not to accept the offer.
“Free is not a good price on that property,” McDonald said, adding that it would cost around $500,000 to raze the building in order to begin to make the property useful.
He said Pierre Foods would likely have the building torn down.