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updated: 7/18/2014 7:56 AM

Gallagher could get $30 million for Rolling Meadows move

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  • Video: Mayor Rooney on Gallagher move

  • Arthur J. Gallagher and Rolling Meadows are working out a deal that will bring the company back to this building.

       Arthur J. Gallagher and Rolling Meadows are working out a deal that will bring the company back to this building.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

Insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. will receive up to $30 million from a tax increment financing district that lasts 15 years rather than the standard 23, but other details of the company's planned move back to Rolling Meadows remain under negotiation.

Gallagher, considered the fourth-largest commercial insurance broker in the country, has not spoken publicly about plans to move its headquarters from Itasca to 2850 Golf Road in Rolling Meadows.

The property Gallagher purchased in February includes the west tower of the Meadows Corporate Center, built about 40 years ago as the Gould Center.

The company is working on engineering studies to determine the cost of remodeling the site and making the move, and expects to resume talks with the city in September, he said. Gallagher will get TIF money only after property taxes there rise, said Brian Baugh, an attorney with Storino, Ramello & Durkin who is handling negotiations for the city.

The city will not pay or borrow any money upfront and Gallagher will give Rolling Meadows $25,000 to cover the costs of setting up the TIF. The company will also make contributions each year of the TIF to cover the city's administrative costs -- $50,000 the first year and that plus 3 percent in succeeding years.

Gallagher's current plans include demolishing the building that is a banquet center and building a parking garage, the city council heard Tuesday.

Mayor Tom Rooney praised the plan, although he and a few aldermen expressed reservations about TIFs.

"TIFs are prone to abuse, but I believe that these terms fall within reasonable purview of good use. I think 15 years is a good show of good faith," said Rooney. "I am fairly pleased with what I see."

Eventually Gallagher will become one of the city's largest employers, according to a staff memo to the council. The agreement will spell out the number and types of jobs the company will maintain at the site, with Rolling Meadows currently calling for 1,600 -- 1,900 including contractors.

City Manager Barry Krumstok emphasized that except for the 15-year time frame and the $30 million limit on TIF funds the company will receive everything is still open to negotiation. The final terms will go before the city council for approval.

Gallagher has negotiated $20 million in tax breaks from the state to keep its headquarters in Illinois, and that agreement demands 1,300 jobs, said Krumstok.

Rooney has said that the interior of the tower needs a lot of work, justifying government involvement.

Gallager was a tenant of the same center for about 15 years before moving to Itasca in 1991.

Rooney said Gallagher is worth the effort -- the company brings prestige to Rolling Meadows, but also jobs and the ancillary benefits of having 1,600-1,900 more employees in town using local businesses and restaurants.

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