Mundelein offering Medline $1.8 million to stay in town
Mundelein is willing to offer up to $1.8 million as an incentive toward a building expansion to keep its largest employer in town.
Medline Industries Inc. employs about 1,600 people at its global headquarters campus on Route 60 in the village and 2,500 in Lake County, and it is considered an essential contributor to the local economy. The company has expanded three times -- most recently in 2011 -- since coming to Mundelein in the mid-1980s and is evaluating options for continued growth.
Where that will be is under consideration by Medline, the largest privately held hospital supply company in the world. The company is determining whether to relocate or expand its headquarters, which covers about 800,000 square feet on 57 acres.
"They came to us and said, 'Now we've got some bigger decisions to make because we're running out of space. We'd like to stay in town, but we have to look at other options,'" Village Administrator John Lobaito said.
Village officials have approved what is known as a term sheet that provides an outline of the proposal and what Mundelein would offer toward the expansion of the corporate campus. As outlined, Medline would invest between $25 million and $30 million in a parking structure and a fourth office building of more than 100,000 square feet, and another $10 million in equipment and furnishings.
The 15-year incentive would provide property tax abatements of varying amounts, including a 100 percent abatement for the first 10 years, to a maximum of $1.8 million. In return, the company would guarantee to keep the 1,600 jobs in town and add another 100 jobs within five years.
"I think we made them a good offer," Mayor Steve Lentz said. "They're a very valued part of our community."
Lobaito said the company also has been in discussion with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity regarding potential state incentives.
"They need to understand what the costs are and the benefits of staying are compared to other" possibilities, Lobaito said. "They'll try to put all the data together to make an informed decision of the benefits of staying or going."
Kathryn Cummings, a company spokeswoman, said it's too early in the discussion stages to share information about the expansion project. She added the company is pleased to be renewing talks with the village regarding expanding its headquarters but still is considering other options.
Lobaito said keeping the company in town would have residual benefits, as employees spend an average of $200 a month in Mundelein.
"One of the advantages (of staying) is moving a corporation like this is very disruptive to their business. That's certainly a plus on our side," he said.
He said the village would continue mapping the details of a final incentive agreement as it awaits a decision, which is expected soon.
"They're very important. It would be a disappointment if Medline makes any other decision but to stay in Mundelein," Lobaito said.