'A showpiece property': Elgin company purchases 100-year-old Sisco manufacturing building
Milan. London. Elgin.
As the old Sesame Street song goes, one of these things is not like the others.
But while Elgin may not be considered as glamorous a destination, it will join Milan and London as one of the three global hubs for a company founded by a Judson University architecture grad in 2010.
Anguleris, a global construction technology company owned and operated by architects and headquartered in Elgin, recently purchased the historic Sisco Building along Route 31 just north of Wing Street in Elgin and has begun renovations on the 100-year-old property.
"This will be a showpiece property for this gateway corridor coming in from I-90," Anguleris CEO Benjamin Glunz said.
The 86,000-square-foot facility will serve as a new flagship hub for Anguleris brand Swatchbox, a division of the company that provides product samples from myriad different suppliers to architects, designers and builders.
"We bring the technology to what would otherwise be a very physical process of sampling," Glunz said. "For architects and designers, it's a big problem getting samples in a timely fashion from manufacturers. And because we're architects, it gives us the edge of knowing what they need."
The new space will consolidate operations that are currently spread out around the Fox Valley and will be the warehouse and logistics hub in the United States for Swatchbox.
"We've been looking for a larger landing space," Glunz said. "We wanted to be here because we're an Elgin company, so we're reinvesting in Elgin and restoring a great old building."
The company's corporate office is downtown at 68 S. Grove Ave., another old building they purchased and renovated.
"Elgin has been very good to us," said Glunz, who grew up in Pennsylvania but stayed in Elgin after graduating from college.
"Often, there's not a whole lot of quantifiable economic impact of a place like Judson, but I came here to study architecture," he said. "Now we're creating jobs here."
Glunz said the expansion will bring 20 to 30 new jobs.
Anguleris worked with Elgin officials and the Downtown Neighborhood Association for a couple of years before landing on the century-old Sisco building, located at 667 N. State St., which it purchased from Patrick Manufacturing.
Patrick, a precision spring manufacturer, will continue to sublease a portion of the building. The property originally housed an oven manufacturer 100 years ago.
Glunz said the multimillion-dollar rehab project on the building will take six to 12 months.
The renovations will see the building transformed on both the interior and exterior, outfitting the former manufacturing facility for state-of-the-art warehousing and fulfillment operations for Swatchbox.
"We're excited to be the next caretakers for this and up the game by a level," he said.
Elgin Director of Community Development Marc Mylott said the city is happy to have them.
"Anguleris is indicative of the entrepreneurial environment we and the Downtown Neighborhood Association are trying to create," he said. "Once those companies take hold and grow, it's certainly nice when we can keep them in Elgin."
Glunz said the city has been very supportive of their efforts at both of the properties they've undertaken.
"We remained really dedicated to being in Elgin because we have that partnership," he said. "We believe in this community and want to be a part of it."