Baltimore's Holly Poultry announces expansion

Baltimore's Holly's Poultry announces expansion

Holly Poultry, a Baltimore poultry processor and wholesale meat distributor, said Thursday it is expanding onto a 17-acre site in southwest area of the city where it is building a new facility.

The company also said it plans to bring on about 100 more workers in the next three to five years.

The firm, which has been based in Baltimore under its current ownership since 1990, has grown from 20 people to more than 180 over that time. It is working with Merritt Construction Services, the construction arm of Merritt Properties, on the project.

"For the past several years, Holly's growth has been hampered by lack of space," said Zach Fine, Holly Poultry's vice president, in a statement released by Merritt. "Now, working with Merritt, we are taking 17 acres of urban blight and turning it into a state-of-the-art processing facility."

The new, 37,500-square-foot plant at 2121 Wicomico Street, a former Maryland Glass Corp. site, is expected to open in 2017. The firm also plans to renovate its existing building on Berlin Street to accommodate the wholesale side of the business. Officials say they hope to build more.

The city Board of Estimates last year approved a $400,000 loan to Holly Poultry related to what was described then as a $6.8 million project. At the time about three quarters of the firm's workers lived in Baltimore.

Fine said the family-owned firm considered other locations but wanted to stay in Baltimore.

"We chose to stay here because this is where we grew up as a business, this is where my employees are from, this is personally where I'm from and where I want to see success," he said.

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