The dairy industry won’t be gone from Queens for long.
The city’s Economic Development Corp. announced Tuesday it will develop a new facility for Bartlett Dairy near Kennedy Airport, three weeks before the borough’s only milk plant was set to close.
Bartlett, which serves the city’s schools and Starbucks, has operated out of the Elmhurst Dairy plant in Jamaica since opening in 1968. The new facility, to open in 2020, will help preserve 200 of the 273 jobs affected by the Elmhurst closure, according to the EDC. Elmhurst announced its shutdown in August, after 80 years of service.
Bartlett officials had no immediate comment.
“It is essential a milk and dairy-product manufacturing operation be located in New York City for many reasons, including the ability to service inner-city neighborhood delis, bodegas, schools, food service operations as well as supermarkets with fresh local milk and dairy products,” Bruce W. Krupke of the Northeast Dairy Foods Association Inc. said in a statement.
Construction of the 56,000-square-foot facility at Nassau Expressway and Rockaway Boulevard is slated to begin in 2018, the EDC said.
The site will be used primarily for distribution and office work, but Bartlett’s contract with the city allows it to set up milk processing in the future, according to an EDC spokeswoman. “They have enough land and ability in the zoning to process the milk,” she said.
In addition to saving the 200 employees, the majority of whom are Queens residents, Bartlett aims to add 50 new positions at the facility, the EDC said.