A $169 million industrial complex is planned for the Southeast Side, according to NorthPoint Development, the Kansas City company that will build the project just north of Ford’s Torrence Avenue plant on the site of a former Republic Steel mill.
“We did it with a company that’s not based in Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who, with Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), announced the venture on Sunday. “But they have the confidence they are going to build the largest facilities in Chicago and haul in thousands of jobs.”
NorthPoint estimates the project will create more than 1,300 permanent jobs and says about 650 construction jobs will be needed for the duration of the project.
The 2.2 million-square-foot project is to include six industrial buildings, each ranging from 215,000 to 600,000 square feet, and would be the largest industrial park in Chicago, according to the mayor’s office.
The project — which needs approval from the Chicago Plan Commission — is to get $25.3 million in tax-increment financing to pay for improvements to the site and roads.
“TIF money will more than likely cover site-preparation work, given its history,” said Peter Strazzabosco, deputy commissioner of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.
Though the steel mills left in 2001, they left their mark.
“The site is a challenging site,” said NorthPoint’s founder and CEO Nathaniel Hagedorn. “It has a lack of infrastructure, it has historic environmental challenges, there are soil condition issues, and it was going to take a true public-private partnership to put this project back into productive use.”
According to the Department of Planning and Development, the land is in one of the city’s industrial growth zones — a program that helps property owners, developers and industrial businesses earn grants for environmental assessments and remediations.
Each of the six buildings would house one or more firms. Hagedorn said they are expecting 10 businesses to operate from the complex.
Hagedorn said NorthPoints alone will represent $150 million to $200 million of new capital investment.
“This development has the potential to create 3,000 jobs,” Sadlowski Garza said.