Photo: 190320-biz-lindt Lindt planning expansion project at Stratham chocolate plant

Lindt & Sprungli USA plans to expand two of its buildings and build a parking garage at its Stratham facility.

STRATHAM — Lindt & Sprungli USA is planning to expand its chocolate facility and build a new multi-level parking garage.

The Swiss chocolate maker, which has its U.S. headquarters at 1 Fine Chocolate Place, is proposing an expansion project that would add 81,000 square feet to its production building, 20,000 square feet to its building used for storage and shipping, and would include the construction of a 112,840-square-foot parking garage with four levels and a sky bridge.

Town Planner Tavis Austin said the company is pursuing multiple height variances through the town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, and if they’re approved, the project will head to the planning board for a formal site plan review.

The project could add more than 230 new jobs, with the number of employees increasing from 1,590 to 1,820 over three shifts.

Austin said that because the project could impact traffic, particularly at the intersection of Marin Way and Route 111, Lindt convened a meeting with the state Department of Transportation and the Exeter and Stratham planning boards.

According to the company’s website, the Stratham headquarters features an 800,000 square-foot campus that has grown since opening in 1989.

It has a three-story corporate office, a research and development and quality assurance area, a sensory lab, two climate-controlled warehouses, and a 500,000-square-foot production facility.

Lindt purchased U.S. candy maker Russell Stover in July 2014 in a deal that made it the third largest chocolate maker in the U.S. after Hershey and Mars.

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