Berry giant Wish Farms plans $20 million, 'pixie-themed' headquarters in Plant City
By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer – Senior Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal
Wish Farms is taking a whimsical approach to its new headquarters, incorporating a treehouse conference center, adult-sized indoor slide and rooftop deck into the $20 million campus.
The berry grower and shipper, which has been based in Plant City since 1922, said Tuesday that it will build a new headquarters south of Interstate 4, just west of Park Road, on a 36-acre site. It is expected to create approximately 35 new jobs, in addition to the 70 already employed at Wish.
A spokeswoman for Wish said the $20 million price tag for the new campus is an estimate, as the company is still evaluating concepts and finalizing the design.
Wish Farms paid $1.8 million for the property in a deal that closed Aug. 24, according to Hillsborough County property records.
The new campus includes a 20,000-square-foot, three-story office building and 138,000-square-foot warehouse that will handle blueberry and strawberry processing and include pre-cooling, materials storage and cooler space. An organic blueberry farm will be launched on the property as well.
Construction is expected to begin in the fall.
Beck Group is overseeing the site construction and the office building; RCS Company of Tampa will build the warehouse.
Wish Farms was Wishnatzki Farms until a 2010 rebranding effort. The new brand, which includes a magic wand-wielding pixie, brought with it increased consumer recognition and a surge in popularity, and the farm needed more space.
“Space has been an issue for us during this growth period," J.C. Clinard, Wish Farms chief operating office, said in a statement. "The move is going to drastically increase our efficiency and scalability, while positively impacting the local economy.”
The pixie brand will be evident throughout the new headquarters. President Gary Wishnatzki has been working with Beck on the design. The treehouse conference center will be designed by James “B’fer” Roth of DIY Network’s "The Treehouse Guys."
“I see our new campus as a retention and recruiting tool for top talent, but I’m really excited that our new home is going to reflect our fun, family-friendly brand," Wishnatzki said in a statement.
The property had been in the seller's family for three generations, acquired in 1929 as payment for a pre-Depression loan.
“I’m very happy that the property is going to stay in the agriculture sector and with a company that has a special bond with the area. This is truly the best-case scenario for all,” Joe Kuhn, the seller, said in a statement.
https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2018/08/28/Wish Farms will preserve the lake on its new 36-acre headquarters property. berry-giant-wish-farms-plans-20-million-pixie.html?ana=e_ae_set2&s=article_du&ed=2018-09-01&u=QWXl29uAQECT9DKY5TSStA008686a6&t=1535821113&j=83602431#i/11025964