Janesville company to move so another can expand

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Jim Leute
Monday, August 19, 2013

JANESVILLE—A Janesville candy maker needs more room and will soon move part of its operation into a neighboring building.

Melster Candies, a subsidiary of the Denver-based Impact Confections, moved from Cambridge to Janesville in 2011, leasing the 104,000-square-foot building at 4017 Whitney St.

The company now needs more space and will lease a 40,000-square-foot building just to the northwest at 2303 Kettering St.

“Things have been going pretty well for us,” said Leo Halpin, Melster's operations manager in Janesville. “We will use the new space for warehousing.”

To make room for the Melster expansion, a new home was needed for Kenco Logistics Services, a provider of integrated logistics solutions that include distribution and fulfillment, transportation management, material handling services, real estate management and supply chain intelligence.

Kenco has been using about 20,000 square feet of the Kettering Street property. It now will move to a 32,000-square-foot building at 1317 Barberry Drive owned by Badger Property Investments.

The transaction was collaborative effort between William Mears of Coldwell Banker Commercial McGuire Mears & Assoc., Tom Lasse of Badger Property Investments, Wilson McGinness of JDK Real Estateand Mike Venable of Commerical Property Group.

“The signing of the lease allowed us—with the help of Scott Ward, the owner of Forward Construction Group—to completely remodel our building inside and out, on a short construction timeline, to meet the tenant's needs,” said Lasse of Badger Property Investments. “The team at Kenco have been the greatest, helping in every way possible to make this a very pleasant relationship.

“We are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Mears, a broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial McGuire Mears & Associates, said the new lease for Kenco and the expansion of Melster is good news for Janesville.

“The partnership between Tom, Terry and everyone else involved helped procure this lease agreement in under four days, which provided a fantastic solution for Kenco to remain in the Janesville area,” Mears said. “We are pleased that the opportunity allowed for them to grow their successful business ventures right here in Rock County.”

Melster started in Cambridge in 1919. Warrell Corp. acquired it in 1982 and sold it in 2004 to Impact Confections, which owns the Warheads brand.

Melster is known best as the maker of the Circus Peanuts, a banana flavored, orange colored marshmallow treat. Melster also makes everyday and seasonal staples such as salt-water taffy, chocolate covered marshmallows and crème drops.

Halpin said the company employs 170 people in Janesville and makes candy on two shifts.

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