New details on planned Amcor expansion in Lancaster

LANCASTER, Wis. — New details have been released about the planned expansion of a multinational packaging company in Lancaster.

Amcor plans to purchase 4.5 acres of property adjacent to its facility on Bemis Road to update parts of the building and allow room for future growth. The expansion directly correlates to about 10 additional jobs.

“What we’re looking for right now is an additional land purchase that gives us the ability to grow,” said Vice President of Human Resources Vanessa Wellens. “… Some of it is for prospective future growth, but it’s also for updating our current space.”

Plant Manager Randy Flynn said the addition would incorporate additional loading docks for shipping and receiving of goods, and also allow for additional storage.

The manufacturing site employs about 190 people and previously operated as Bemis Performance Packaging until Amcor bought its parent company in 2019. The building was built in the 1980s, and despite several previous expansions and updates, there are still parts of the facility that need improvement.

“It’s basically an update,” Flynn said of the planned expansion. “The plant has been around since 1984, and … we’ve outgrown some of those original amenities. Those storage areas that have been around since that time need an update to (make it) into an area that is much more efficient.”

Lancaster City Council members this week unanimously approved a certified survey map and rezoning request for the 4.5 acres that Amcor intends to buy from Nobleland Beef Farms to ensure the space could be used for Amcor’s operations.

That clears the way for Amcor to go through with the land purchase, although City Administrator David Carlson said the company will have to work with the city to go through the site plan review process as the project continues.

“Amcor is a major employer that is very high tech and has lots of great jobs,” Carlson said. “Its continued growth is part of the city’s continued growth.”

Flynn told council members that the company is in the design phase for the expansion with plans to kickstart the process this spring if possible.

He added after the meeting that some of the planned building expansion would go on the purchased land but that much of the new acreage would serve as a “buffer” between the facility and surrounding property owners to ensure space for future expansion if the company so desires.

“Right now, the only plan that we have is this current expansion, but as a manufacturer, you don’t want to become landlocked,” Flynn said. “(That’s why) we thought that it was very beneficial to our future to own that piece of land.”