HUNTLEY — Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by Weber-Stephen Products LLC to break ground on its new Global Distribution Center in Huntley. The facility will add 120 jobs and consolidate distribution operations from four other states. State support for the new Illinois Route 47 – Interstate 90 interchange made the development possible. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to improve the state’s business climate, create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“Weber is a shining ambassador for Illinois-based innovation,” Governor Quinn said. “We are proud to have worked hand-in-hand with Weber on this important expansion that will build on the company’s history here in Illinois. This new distribution center will retain and create hundreds of jobs for our hardworking residents to help drive our economy forward.”
The new 750,000-square-foot facility will allow Palatine-based Weber to consolidate distribution locations that are now in Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Nevada. The Global Distribution Center will create 120 jobs in two years and retain 479 jobs currently in Huntley. About 50 jobs associated with Weber facilities in other states will be transferred to Huntley. The new building will allow Weber to convert existing warehouse space in Huntley to manufacturing.
“The first Weber kettle grill was manufactured in Illinois more than 60 years ago,” Weber Chief Executive Officer Tom Koos said. “With the continued growth of the Weber brand, we are proud to expand our footprint right here in Illinois, allowing us to more efficiently serve our customers around the world.”
Factoring into the company’s decision to expand in Illinois, rather than four other states that were being considered, was an incentive offer worth an estimated $4.2 million over 10 years from the Quinn administration. The incentive is primarily a credit against the company’s state income tax liability under the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE program. The incentive package includes a $60,000 investment for job training.
The EDGE program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), requires companies to meet agreed-upon targets for job creation or retention and capital investment to receive the credits. The agreement with Weber requires the company to invest at least $26.6 million in its new building on Freeman Road east of Illinois Route 47, over the next 10 years. Duke Realty Corp. will build, own and lease the facility to Weber.
An even larger state investment made the Weber expansion project possible while supporting additional development in Huntley. In November 2013, the $59 million full-access interchange opened at I-90 and Illinois Route 47. The interchange, which came in at $2 million under budget, had 75 percent funding from the state and the rest from local sources. A study commissioned by the village of Huntley said the interchange will create nearly 12,000 retail, office and light industrial jobs in the region by 2030.
“The groundbreaking today is the result of close and careful cooperation between the state and local officials,” DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. “Weber is taking an important step here that will encourage other employers to build in Huntley and surrounding communities.”
Weber-Stephen’s late founder George Stephen Sr. produced the first Weber Kettle grill in 1952. He invented the product because he was frustrated with the uneven and uncontrollable flame of open brazier grilling at his home in Mount Prospect. The firm manufactures a diverse line of charcoal, gas and electric grills and accessories and has always been based in Illinois. Weber-Stephen employs 2,100 people worldwide, including 1,500 in Illinois in Huntley, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elgin and Rolling Meadows.
In Germany, the Illinois Office of Tourism’s international team recently partnered with Weber Grill to showcase the Land of Lincoln’s culinary offerings to 16 top-tier German travel and food writers. The writers experienced classic Illinois fare, like the Chicago-style hot dogs, deep dish pizza, Illinois style beef hamburgers and grilled chicken, all cooked on Weber products. The combination of the Illinois destination, the food topic and the Weber brand worked perfectly for travel and food journalists and trade contacts.
For more information on doing business in Illinois, visit www.illinois.gov/dceo.