MUNSTER, Ind. — Carl Buddig & Co., a producer of sliced and packaged lunchmeat, announced plans to relocate its distribution center from South Holland, Ill., to Munster, creating up to 55 new jobs by 2016.

“Illinois companies are on the move — to Indiana,” said Victor Smith, Indiana secretary of commerce. “From Buddig to recent announcements from firms like MAC Medical and Tec Air, Illinois companies continue to discover that our low taxes, limited regulations, growing infrastructure and skilled workforce make Indiana a state that works for business.”

The Homewood, Ill.-based company will invest $3.7 million to lease and refurbish the 65,000-square-foot former Dawn Foods facility at 215 45th Ave. in Munster.

The facility, which is expected to begin operations in March, will enable the company to increase its available warehouse and dock space, growing capacity for added production lines across the company.

Buddig employs more than 1,000 associates nationally with its subsidiary Old Wisconsin Sausage.

“Moving into the new Munster facility was an easy decision for the company,” said Dan Wynn, chief operating officer of Buddig. “Finding a food grade facility within 10 miles from the plant was a major factor in the decision.

“Also, since the Dawn facility was partially refrigerated, the company was able to reduce the investment needed to refrigerate the entire facility. Last, lower real estate tax rates and an overall more affordable cost of doing business definitely created an attractive financial proposition.”

Founded in 1937, Buddig is a family-owned and operated business, now led by the third generation. Recently welcoming its fourth generation into company operations, Buddig produces vacuum-packed, pre-weighed portioned packages of lunchmeats including turkey, chicken, ham and beef.

As the fifth-largest selling sliced lunchmeat brand, the company supplies grocery retailers and food service operators in Indiana, as well as across the U.S. and Canada.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

The city of Munster approved additional incentives.