Countryside, Decatur, Lisle, Kankakee, Mount Prospect and Romeoville
Projects Receive 2014 Awards for Economic Development in Illinois
The Illinois Chamber and Illinois Development Council Give the ComEd-sponsored “Edie Awards” to Honor Those Who Imagine, Invest, Build and Bring Jobs, Growth and Prosperity to Illinois Communities
CHICAGO – What do new distribution centers in Mount Prospect and Decatur, a rejuvenated commercial district in Countryside, two new expanded manufacturing centers in Romeoville and Kankakee and the relocation of a job skills training campus in Lisle all have in common? The answer is today all six projects were announced as winners of the Edie (Economic Development in Illinois) Award. The annual award – sponsored by ComEd — is given jointly by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Development Council (IDC) to recognize significant economic development projects finished in the prior year throughout Illinois.
“These are six examples of companies that are investing or re-investing in our state and creating jobs,” said Doug Whitley, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber is proud to be working with the IDC, and to have ComEd as a sponsor, recognizing the exciting developments that were completed across Illinois last year.”
The Illinois Chamber and IDC believe it’s important to showcase recent accomplishments — especially when they translate into more jobs, tax base and economic vitality in Illinois.
“These companies, and local economic development teams, are in the trenches across the state, creating jobs and investing in our communities,” said Steve Warren, Senior Business Development Director at Ameren and current Chairman of the Illinois Development Council. “We want to reinforce the notion that economic development like this is central to keeping Illinois vibrant and healthy.”
The Illinois Chamber and IDC asked for nominations from across the state for projects completed in 2013. An awards committee reviewed the nominees and determined which projects were worthy of an Edie Award. The awards will be formally presented at the Illinois Chamber’s Annual Meeting in Chicago on June 26th.
The six winners of the 2014 Edie Awards sponsored by ComEd are:
CVS/Caremark Customer Center (Mount Prospect, Illinois) – CVS/Caremark is Mount Prospect’s biggest employer. It was looking for space to serve as its new mail service pharmacy and customer center that packages and ships prescription drugs for customers throughout the Midwest — as many as 50 million prescriptions are shipped annually. CVS did a complete interior build-out of an existing industrial building and opened the state-of-the-art facility in 2013. The new facility helped CVS/Caremark retain more than 200 local jobs and additionally hire 180 more employees. Staff includes licensed pharmacists, pharmacy techs, as well as numerous positions in automation and processing.
Midwest Inland Port (Decatur, Illinois) — One of Decatur’s most valuable assets is access—specifically, access to three class-I railroads, five major roadways, an airport capable of handling wide-body aircraft, a qualified local work force and a brand-new intermodal container-freight shipping and handling facility. Together, these elements make up the Midwest Inland Port, which is kick-starting a thriving local transportation and logistics-based economy by attracting manufacturers, distributors, shipping companies and other businesses whose goal is to be able to get any product to or from anywhere, at any time.
The Intermodal Container Ramp is the Inland Port’s centerpiece. With direct access to Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and CSX railroads, companies can receive, load and ship intermodal containers to the East, West or Gulf Coasts for domestic distribution or export. Already, the intermodal ramp is helping central Illinois build its reputation as a great place to do business. In September, Global Trade magazine ranked Decatur 25th among all U.S. cities for global trade, citing the Inland Port as the main factor.
Peacock Engineering Expansion (Romeoville, Illinois) – The Peacock Engineering Company, headquartered in Geneva, Illinois currently has four modern facilities totaling over 1.2 million square feet with 1,700 employees. It increased its operational capacity by nearly 45%, leasing the 500,000-square-foot facility at 1001 Crossroads Parkway in Romeoville Parkway as a specialty food packaging plant for several major international food processing companies. It wasn’t a normal retrofit as the project required the removal of nearly 60 percent of the eight inch concrete floor to make way for refrigeration and freezer conversion.
Peacock also ran nearly ten miles of new electric lines to power the first 24 packaging lines for its customer. Glycol lines were placed in the floor to create over 200,000 square feet of refrigerated/freezer space. Thirty-four new restroom facilities and break room facilities were constructed in the middle of the facility. Several other specialty packaging, baling, and recycling processes were also installed for Peacock’s customers. The new space opened on schedule and employment at the Romeoville plant is expected to increase to nearly 600 employees as new lines and new customers arrive.
CSL Behring Expansion (Kankakee, Illinois) – CSL Behring is a global leader in the plasma protein therapeutics industry. Committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people with rare and serious diseases, the company manufactures and markets a range of plasma-derived and recombinant therapies worldwide. CSL Behring employs more than 11,000 people in 30 countries including Kankakee County, Illinois; Bern, Switzerland; Marburg, Germany; and Broadmeadows, Australia.
The investments made at the CSL Behring Kankakee facility created a 140% capacity increase for base fractionation of human plasma and 200% capacity increase for albumin production. This required the construction of several new buildings which included: state-of-the-art pharmaceutical grade manufacturing suites; a new warehouse, a new packaging line; a Quality Control laboratory expansion, and utility systems that support the new areas. These investments were made to ensure that CSL Behring has manufacturing capacity to serve patients now and well into the future.
Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Campus Relocation (Lisle, Illinois) – UTI — the leading provider of postsecondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians – needed a new home after outgrowing the campus it had used for 25 years. More than 50 site locations were considered before selecting a property in Lisle, Illinois to be the company’s new Midwest regional campus.
The new location allowed UTI to remain close to employers who hire its graduates.
The property along I-88 was formerly used as a computer mainframe training facility and had sat empty since 2006.
UTI demolished the existing structure and built a new, 187,000-square-foot, state-of-the-industry campus. In addition to classroom and support service space, the new campus has 80,900 square feet of lab space, with a capacity of up to 2,000 students and 150 faculty and staff.
Countryside Shopping Center (Countryside, Illinois) – The City of Countryside was saddled with many vacancies in the area of Joliet and LaGrange roads. Instead of throwing their hands up in the air they issued bonds and began to assemble property, create a TIF district and a redevelopment plan to improve the area. Countryside began to redevelop the site on their own – including lighting, utility loops, storm water detention, sidewalks and landscaping – all with the hope that the economy would turn once the work was completed.
The investment paid off as the City has successfully turned more than 90% of the property into leased commercial space at the end of 2013.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests of Illinois business by working to improve the state’s business climate. The Illinois Chamber aggressively advocates legislation and public policies that support economic growth, and is a source of timely and reliable information on matters important to its members, Illinois employers and the general public. The Illinois Chamber also provides effective programs and services to its 2,000+ members to meet their business needs, including immediate answers to tax and human resources concerns and access to training and consulting services. www.ilchamber.org
The Illinois Development Council is an association of economic development professionals and allies that strives to build relationships, professionalism, and a positive atmosphere in which to create jobs and wealth in Illinois. These individuals are employed by municipalities; not-for-profit economic development councils or community development corporations; utilities; railroads; planning commissions; state government; and other partners interested in retaining and growing businesses in Illinois. Members of the organization participate in mutually beneficial public policy, marketing and educational efforts. www.ildevelopmentcouncil.org