Construction is to begin this spring on a Franklin cheese processing facility that will provide up to 650 jobs after opening in 2023.

Tom Daykin
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Saputo Inc.'s Franklin cheese production facility has received city approval.

Construction is to begin this spring on a Franklin cheese processing facility that will provide up to 650 jobs.

Saputo Cheese USA Inc. received approval for the development from the Franklin Common Council at its Tuesday night meeting.

The council voted to grant a special use permit for the 310,000-square-foot building, Mayor Steve Olson said.

The $85 million cheese production, packaging and distribution facility will be developed on a 34.5-acre parcel south of West Oakwood Road and west of South 27th Street.

The company wants to start construction as soon as possible once the ground has thawed, Olson told the Journal Sentinel.

Saputo Cheese USA is a subsidiary of global dairy processor Saputo Inc., based in Montreal, Canada.

Along with the office workers, the Franklin building's employees will be slicing, grating and packaging cheese made at other Saputo facilities before it's distributed to retailers and other wholesale customers.

The plans, first disclosed in November, call for around 50 office workers and up to 600 production workers. It is to begin operating in 2023.

Saputo's U.S. operations include making mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, blue, parmesan, goat cheese and romano. Its brands include Saputo, Frigo and Stella.

Saputo is one of the world's 10 largest dairy processors, producing cheese, milk and other products. It is among the three largest cheese producers in the United States.

The company's operations include several production facilities throughout Wisconsin, as well as an office in Wauwatosa.

The Franklin production facility will be part of a larger business park.

It includes two light industrial buildings, totaling up to 536,180 square feet, that Wangard Partners Inc. is developing at 3617 W. Oakwood Road, just west of the planned Saputo facility.

The 500-acre business park is tied to the new nearby Elm Road/I-94 interchange, with the city also planning to make improvements to Elm Road.

Tom Daykin can be emailed at tdaykin@jrn.com and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.