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Kwik Trip announces $300 million project in La Crosse

The Kwik Trip on 27th Avenue West in Duluth. (2014 file / News Tribune)

Kwik Trip on Wednesday announced a $300 million project in La Crosse, Wis., designed to support its growing convenience store operations.

The La Crosse-based company, with 621 stores in three states, said the project will create more than 300 jobs over the next five years and include the construction of a $113 million, 200,000-square-foot bread and bun production facility, and expansions and improvements in its dairy manufacturing facility, kitchen operations and transportation fleet.

"This will result in the purchase of additional fleet vehicles and the construction of more-efficient production plants that will create higher capacity, productivity, and cost savings which will allow Kwik Trip to better accommodate the needs of our guests in the 621 stores and numerous communities we currently serve," said John McHugh, Kwik Trip's director of corporate communications and leadership development.

The projects will support the company's plans to open 40 to 50 new stores annually. In July, Kwik Trip announced the purchase of 34 convenience stores from Middleton, Wis.-based PDQ. Kwik Trip took ownership of the stores last month and plans to remodel the PDQs into Kwik Trip stores over the coming months.

Kwik Trip also has made a major push into the Northland in recent years.

"With more than 380 stores and 12,000 employees in Wisconsin, Kwik Trip has already shown a strong commitment to our state, and that commitment is being solidified with this expansion," Gov. Scott Walker said in a news release announcing the expansion.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has authorized Kwik Trip to receive up to $21 million in state income tax credits over the next five years. The actual amount of tax credits the company will earn are contingent upon the number of jobs created, the level of capital investment and the amount it spends on purchasing equipment, goods and services from Wisconsin companies through 2022, Walker said.

In addition to the more than 300 jobs expected to be created by Kwik Trip over the next five years, an economic modeling study projects that the project will indirectly generate 235 additional jobs in the region. The direct and indirect jobs could generate up to $1.1 million annually in additional state income tax revenue.

Kwik Trip was founded in 1965 and opened its first store in Eau Claire.