BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — General Mills broke ground Thursday on its new 1.3 million square-foot food storage and distribution center, located at the intersection of Irene Road and U.S. 20.

The facility, which will be built on an 11-acre site, is expected to create between 50 and 100 new jobs for the area.

Belvidere and Boone County invested in the area about 15 years ago, and Mayor Clint Morris says the groundbreaking is only the first step in developing the land.

“I believe that you have to have the first hinge pin in, and after that, what do they say? ‘Build it and we will come.’ I think, with General Mills’ investment, I think we’ll see further investment, no doubt,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed in 2023.