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updated: 5/2/2014 5:41 AM

Weber grills' Huntley distribution plant plans move forward

Large building would rise near existing site

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  • An artist's rendering of a proposed 757,120-square-foot Weber grills factory, which would more than double the size of the company's existing building in Huntley and serve as its global distribution headquarters.

      An artist's rendering of a proposed 757,120-square-foot Weber grills factory, which would more than double the size of the company's existing building in Huntley and serve as its global distribution headquarters.
    Courtesy of Village of Huntley

  • An artist's rendering of a proposed 757,120-square-foot Weber grills factory, which would more than double the size of the company's existing building in Huntley and serve as its global distribution headquarters.

      An artist's rendering of a proposed 757,120-square-foot Weber grills factory, which would more than double the size of the company's existing building in Huntley and serve as its global distribution headquarters.
    Courtesy of Village of Huntley

 
 

The manufacturer of Weber grills is a step closer to building a global headquarters for distribution in Huntley.

The village board Thursday night reviewed preliminary site plans by Weber-Stephen Products that would more than double the size of the manufacturer's current facility on Oak Creek Parkway.

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Weber plans to build a second, 757,120-square-foot global distribution center on a nearby 131-acre site that the village is expected to annex for the development to move forward.

Weber has been a fixture in Huntley since 1996.

"This global distribution center is going to allow us to maintain and cement our presence here in the village," said Phil Zadeik, general counsel for Weber-Stephen Products.

The village would waive fees -- for annexation and capital development -- related to the project and grant Weber a 50 percent, five-year property tax abatement, which amounts to an estimated $35,000 yearly.

Officials said the project would be an economic boon to the area and is expected to add 500 jobs, including 75 distribution and 250 construction jobs. It would generate more than $1 million in new tax revenue for area taxing bodies, officials said.

The proposed facility would distribute Weber products to more than 30 countries. Started in 1952, Weber grills are sold in more than 72 countries, according to the company's website.

The distribution center would be on roughly 90 of those 131 vacant acres fronting the Jane Addams Tollway and Freeman Road, just east of the Huntley Outlet Center. The property would have to be rezoned for office/research/industrial use.

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.

A public hearing on the proposed annexation is scheduled for Thursday, May 8, before the regular village board meeting. The board is also expected to approve preliminary site plans, and annexation and development agreements at that meeting.

As part of the annexation agreement, Freeman Road would be widened to three lanes from two lanes so that there would be eastbound, westbound and center turn lanes, along the frontage of the Weber building. Plans call for a private driveway into the proposed Weber plant, which is expected to double the current traffic count in the area, adding roughly 160 and 270 vehicles to the morning and evening rush hours respectively, officials said.

Roadway improvements, estimated to cost $1.2 million, will be partially funded through a roughly $518,000 Illinois Department of Transportation economic development grant, officials said.

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 space, creating roughly 450 manufacturing jobs.

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 at the northwest corner of the site along Freeman Road.

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