Chamber president: Amazon's arrival signals 'active market' in Elgin
Amazon's plans to open a delivery station in Elgin is the latest example of "an incredibly active market" in the city, the local chamber of commerce president said.
Amazon is leasing part of a building at 2450 Northwest Parkway off Randall Road, said Carol Gieske, president and CEO of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce. "It's very exciting. Everywhere we go, people are so excited to hear that Amazon has located in the community," she said.
The new delivery station will create hundreds of full-time and part-time job opportunities, the company said. Delivery stations help speed up deliveries for customers by receiving packages from neighboring fulfillment and sorting centers.
The city has a $275,000 yearly contract for economic development services with the chamber, which funnels the money to its in-house Elgin Development Group.
Tony Lucenko, EDG economic development director, said Elgin has 80 percent of the industrial space in the Northwest suburban corridor including Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates. Vacancy rates in Elgin are at a 20-year low, or 6.1 percent for industrial space and 3.7 percent for retail space as of Thursday, Lucenko said. Unemployment has dropped steadily since January and is now at 3.7 percent, he said.
One of the largest industrial buildings in town will be built soon by Peak Construction Corp., based in Des Plaines, Lucenko said. The 477,000-square-foot building at 1451 Sheldon Drive off Shales Parkway is expected to generate about $700,000 annually in property taxes for Elgin Area School District U-46, he said.
"When you talk about development, it's really about the long-term impact to the community," Gieske said.
New arrivals in Elgin this year include the nutritional supplement company iHerb, which opened its fourth national distribution center this summer, and Germany-based Faber-Castell Cosmetics, which plans to open its first U.S. manufacturing plant which plans to open its first U.S. manufacturing plant by the end of the year. German manufacturer Harting announced last month plans to expand its North American headquarters in Elgin; the five-year plan calls for a $100 million investment and creation of about 250 jobs, Gieske said. The EDG played a role in all three deals, she said.
There have been some losses, too, Gieske acknowledged.
Bystronic Inc. plans to move its North American headquarters from Elgin to Hoffman Estates, where it broke ground on a building in September. German manufacturer Helukabel in April relocated its U.S. headquarters from Elgin to West Dundee.
Elgin -- including its city council and city staff members -- is committed to being a business-friendly community, which increasingly means being willing to fast-track permitting for projects, Gieske said. "Businesses turn around now and make decisions so much more quickly than they used to," she said.
EDG also works with small business owners and various partners -- including Elgin Community College, Judson University and county and state transportation officials -- and routinely reaches out to employers to get feedback about things like traffic improvements, EDG Director Bob Malm said.
The city, whose population is an estimated 112,000, has a workforce of about 52,000 people, including 12,400 who work in Elgin. About 60,500 people overall work in Elgin, according to data shared by Lucenko.