Huntley could soon become the global headquarters for the distribution of Weber grills.
The village board Thursday night reviewed a conceptual plan by Weber-Stephen Products that would more than double the size of the manufacturer's current facility on Oak Creek Parkway by building a second, 757,120-square-foot global distribution center nearby.
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"We are looking to cement our presence here in Huntley and in Illinois," said Dean Duffy, executive vice president for Weber-Stephen Products. "Huntley and Weber have had a great relationship since operations started in 1996. We have a great opportunity in front of us."
Weber has another factory in Palatine, which also serves as its corporate headquarters. Started in 1952, Weber grills currently are sold in more than 72 countries, according to the company's website.
The proposed Huntley facility would distribute Weber products to more than 30 countries, Duffy said.
"As our business has grown, we needed more capacity, so that's what has prompted us to look at options for expansion," he added.
The proposal calls for the village to annex about 131 acres -- Weber's proposed distribution center would be located on roughly 90 of those acres -- fronting the I-90 Tollway and Freeman Road, just east of the Huntley Outlet Center.
The property to be annexed includes a 3.5 acre lot along Freeman Road, which could accommodate a 40,000-square-foot office building, and another 30 acres that could house 270,000 square feet of light industrial space. A small portion of the overall site would be used for stormwater management or as undeveloped flood plain, said Charles Nordman, director of development services.
The property would have to be rezoned for office/research/industrial use for the project to move forward, he added.
Weber plans to convert most of the existing warehouse/distribution space on Oak Creek Parkway -- a roughly 625,000-square-foot facility built in 1996 -- into manufacturing creating roughly 450 manufacturing jobs, Nordman said. The company also will have the capacity to expand an additional 405,600 square feet at its proposed distribution center for a total of more than 1 million square feet. The proposed 40,000-square-foot building housing employee offices would be located at the northwest corner of the site along Freeman Road, Nordman said.
Village board members voiced support for the project and said they are happy Weber is investing in the community.
Plans call for a private driveway into the proposed Weber plant. Freeman Road would need to be widened to three lanes -- includes eastbound, westbound and center turn lanes -- along the frontage of the Weber building. Nordman said a traffic study will need to be done and reviewed by staff as part of the development plan. The village attorney and staff are reviewing an annexation agreement for the 131-acre site. The development proposal will now go before the village plan commission for review.