Hill's gets contract expansion; Expocentre updates on renovations

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Joint Economic Development Organization announced Project Jingle as Hill's Pet Nutrition.

Hill's contract approval Wednesday comes with plans to invest $20 million to expand in the community and create six full time jobs in the next two years with benefits.

This capital investment is expected to generate an economic impact of over $55 million to the county.

Topeka falls within the animal health corridor and Hill's investment in the capital city allows them to continue their support the animal health industry and the economy.

"75 percent of animal health organizations are located or situated along the animal health corridor and we're positioned right there,” Barbara Stapleton, Vice President of Workforce and
Education, said. “They're an exceptional partner with their corporate offices located here, as well as their wet pet food facility and research and development.”

Mayor Michelle De La Isla hopes this expansion will help attract people from the corridor to Topeka and possibly bring some future expansions.

"It's going to attract other people from the animal corridor to come to Topeka to see the great things that we're doing,” De La Isla said. “Hopefully, that will entice future growth in this area of our community."

During the JEDO meeting, the Expocentre also offered an update on their renovation plans to start in late May.

"Once the renovations are complete,” Kellen Seitz, General Manager of the Expocentre, said. “We'll be able to have absolutely a lot more potential to generate more business opportunity for
larger scale events on the convention, trade show and expo side, because we will have about double the square footage and floor space."

Seitz said the increased square footage will allow them to host more concurrent events at both Landon Arena and Exhibition Hall.

He said the two year renovation project will not interfere with events that are held at the Expocentre.