IT company pledges improvements to Carol Stream warehouse

An information technology sales company is promising to make $2 million in improvements to a once-vacant warehouse and create new jobs in Carol Stream in exchange for getting a cut of the village’s sales tax revenues.

Zones Inc., which sells computer hardware and software to businesses, moved to a 151,000-square-foot building at 725-785 Center Ave. in August from a smaller facility in Bensenville. A grand opening is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

A sales tax sharing agreement approved unanimously by the village board in June pledges a 50 percent rebate of the 1 percent village share of state retailers’ occupation and service occupation taxes — but only if the company does a minimum of $20 million in annual sales.

Under the agreement, if $20 million worth of sales is generated, the company would get $100,000 and the village would retain $100,000.

Zones won’t get a portion of the village’s home rule sales tax revenues. The agreement is in place for 10 years.

Village officials have said they were contacted by Zones officials in February about a possible move to Carol Stream and that without sales tax sharing the company might not have relocated.

The facility in the village’s business park will include offices and a warehouse distribution space. It will serve as the Auburn, Wash.-based firm’s nationwide central distribution hub, according to Linda Marbena, Zones’ senior vice president of purchasing and logistics.

Roughly 100 employees have moved to the Carol Stream facility, and it’s expected 30 more people will be hired, Marbena said.

The company also plans to open a sales center at Willis Tower in Chicago.

The village signed sales tax sharing agreements with Home Depot and Lowe’s in 2003. The Home Depot agreement was retired in 2007, and the Lowe’s agreement is about 80 percent complete, officials said.

Discussions between officials of the village and Caputo’s Fresh Markets about possible sales tax revenue sharing are ongoing. The grocer plans to open a new location at the corner of North Avenue and Schmale Road early next year.

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