Elk Grove to spend $500,000 on industrial park marketing campaign

Elk Grove Village will spend $500,000 on a six-month advertising campaign to lure businesses to its industrial park, which the village says is the largest contiguous one in the country, Mayor Craig Mayor Johnson said Thursday.

Johnson, in his annual state of the village address to the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce, said the campaign is meant to counteract other states' efforts to steal businesses. It will include television and radio ads on many stations, as well as a print component and billboards.

"Elk Grove is going to hit the whole market across the board," he said. "We're going on a full-force attack."

The commercials will tout Elk Grove as "Beyond Business Friendly" and as a great place to make things. It will highlight the village's location at a transportation hub that includes railroads, interstates and O'Hare International Airport.

"We want the makers of this country to be making their products in Elk Grove Village," Johnson said, echoing the campaign's tag line.

The initial funds for the marketing campaign will come from a $1.6 million budget surplus the village has from its last fiscal year, when its sales and use taxes jumped $3 million to $18 million, Johnson said.

After evaluating its effectiveness, the marketing program could be expanded, using funds from the tax increment financing district created last year in the industrial park. In a TIF district, growth in property tax revenues from new development is channeled back into the district, instead of going to taxing bodies like schools and libraries.

The first business whose move is tied to the TIF is Atlas Toyota Material Handling, a forklift dealer which is spending $17 million to merge three locations on a block in the industrial park, where it will employ 250 people, Johnson said. The company, which is getting $1.6 million in incentives, will become the eighth largest sales tax producer in the village, he added.

The vacancy rate in the industrial park has fallen by half in the last five years, to just over 6 percent, Johnson said. Businesses invested $153 million there last year, up 166 percent from 2013, he added. The park has 300 manufacturers - more than anyplace in the state outside Chicago - among its 3,600 total businesses. It added 120 new business last year, Johnson said.

"Elk Grove is the place to be," he said.

The village is investing $13.5 million in infrastructure improvements in the industrial park this year, including drainage and sewer upgrades, and road construction.

It's also spending money to improve appearance elsewhere on town, including decorative enhancements to new overpasses on Devon Avenue and Arlington Heights Road, additional landscaping on streets, and new signs to mark entrances to the village and the industrial park.

In his address, the mayor also touted the Midsummer Classics Concert Series, which features free performances by big-name bands, and said the village will begin the celebration of its 60th anniversary next year with a concert, picnic and fireworks show on July 17.

  Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson thanks guests after giving his state of the village address Thursday to the elk Grove Chamber of Commerce. Johnson said the village will fund a new marketing campaign to fend off other states' efforts to steal businesses. Bob Chwedyk/
  Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson discusses the village's plans for a $500,000 marketing campaign that will tout its sprawling industrial park. The campaign will feature television, radio and print ads. Bob Chwedyk/
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