NORWALK, Iowa — Capital City Fruit hopes to break ground in late September on a new facility, ending a 30-year run at its current home.

Capital City will build on an 18-acre lot, also in Norwalk, just a mile from its current facility, said Brendan Comito, the company’s chief operating officer.

The new headquarters will feature 71,000 square feet of warehouse space and 12,000 feet of office space, Comito said.

That’s an upgrade from about 50,000 square feet, warehouse and office combined, at its present locale.

Capital City hopes to complete construction of its new facility by next May, Comito said.

Locale loyalty

Staying in Norwalk was a priority for Capital City, Comito said. Staying close by helps ensure the company can keep its current labor pool. The proximity to highways is good.

Comito said Norwalk has been easy to work with over the years.

“The town has been very good to us,” he said.

Capital City had added on several times to the facility it moved into in 1981. But because of its location, future additions were almost impossible, Comito said.

“We’re really hemmed in here,” he said, citing three of the company’s immediate neighbors: a high school, a residential development and a cemetery.

“If we hire five more employees, I don’t know where they’d park.”

The new site, in addition to being larger than the company’s current site, also will provide easier access in and out, thanks to the proximity to highways, Comito said.

And not having a high school as a neighbor will mean fewer traffic jams at certain times of the day, Comito said.

In 1981, Capital City moved into an existing building, Comito said.

This time around, the company looks forward to moving into a facility whose design it oversaw during a nine-month process.

“We hope to get much better efficiency” in the new facility, Comito said.

Space to expand

Because it’s building on an 18-acre site, Capital City will have plenty of room to grow — in every direction, Comito said.

The company’s present site is only about 6 acres, he said.

“We designed it for seven years out,” Comito said. “At that point, we’ll probably have to add on.”

Because of size limitations at its present facility, Capital City has had to turn down some growth opportunities, Comito said.

The company won’t have that problem at its new home.