Casual dining restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory has announced that it has exercised its option to acquire an improved 15.82 acre site to develop a second bakery production facility in the Whitaker Business and Industry Center located in the City of Rocky Mount in Nash County, North Carolina.

Completion of improvements to the 100,000 square foot building shell is expected in early 2006. The facility will produce cheesecakes and other bakery products for the company’s restaurants and other foodservice wholesalers, retailers and distributors. It will also serve as a distribution and fulfilment centre for the company’s restaurants and customers located in the eastern United States.

“We are very excited about this facility,” said David Overton, chairman and CEO. “It will not only give us the added capacity to support our planned growth but should also provide significant benefits in the form of freight savings and risk diversification.”

The company plans to equip the facility in stages as additional capacity is needed. As previously disclosed, the initial planned capital outlay in fiscal 2005 is approximately $15m. In addition, the company expects to incur approximately $1m in preopening expenses during fiscal 2005.

The company worked closely with the City of Rocky Mount, Nash County, Carolinas Gateway Partnership, and state and local officials to complete a mutually beneficial economic incentive package covering site acquisition costs, utility and tax credits, and development and employment incentives. “We are very pleased to locate our second bakery in Rocky Mount,” said Overton. “The state and local governments have been very receptive, the location is ideal for efficient distribution and there seems to be a very capable workforce. We look forward to generating new employment opportunities in the area.”