Mars Petcare building $87 million innovation center in Tennessee

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Mars Petcare, a division of McLean-based Mars Inc., is building a $87 million Regional Innovation Center in Tennessee in a partnership with The Nutro Co., a natural pet foods company.

The four-building campus in Thompson’s Station, Tenn., south of Nashville, will serve as the companies’ center for pet-care innovations for the North American market.

The 90-acre campus will be designed to achieve Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Building Council. 

Construction is scheduled to begin immediately on the campus’ four buildings. Completion is expected in spring 2014. The new center will support 144 jobs. 

Each building will serve a different purpose. They will be an innovation center, product development center, shared services building and the Pet Health and Nutrition Center, largely based on the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in the United Kingdom.

Mars Petcare is based in Franklin. Tenn. Its parent company, Mars Inc., has annual sales of $30 billion. Its businesses include pet care, chocolate, Wrigley chewing gum, food, drinks.

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