German drug firm pushes back timeline for parts of Des Plaines headquarters

 
 
Posted2/1/2018 5:35 AM
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  • A rendering shows plans for German company Vetter Pharma's U.S. headquarters on the corner of Algonquin and Mount Prospect roads in Des Plaines. Company officials say groundbreaking on the full project might not take place until 2022.

    A rendering shows plans for German company Vetter Pharma's U.S. headquarters on the corner of Algonquin and Mount Prospect roads in Des Plaines. Company officials say groundbreaking on the full project might not take place until 2022. Courtesy of Des Plaines

Although some construction is underway on German pharmaceutical company Vetter Pharma's future U.S. headquarters in Des Plaines, the largest parts of the potentially $350 million development may not break ground until 2022.

That's about four years later than the company anticipated when it first introduced the project in 2016. The company said it's establishing customer commitments necessary to support its plans for the 17-acre former Salvation Army property at the northwest corner of Algonquin and Mount Prospect roads.

Renovations are underway on the five-story office building previously owned by Salvation Army. The company's management, human resources and legal departments will occupy the building.

However, the company said it's impossible to commit to the full scope of the project, including four additional buildings, without fixed customer commitments. When the company introduced the project to the city in 2016, it showed plans to construct the four buildings for production, warehouse and manufacturing of pharmaceutical and biotech drug products.

"As you can imagine, the creation of such a commercial site for manufacturing pharmaceutical and biotech drug products requires a significant initial investment of more than $300 million," company spokesman Markus Kirchner wrote in an email. "Therefore, in order to seriously undertake such a large project, it is important that we have in place a stable financial plan that justifies this investment."

As many as 500 jobs could comes to Des Plaines if the entire 1.2 million-square-foot facility is built.

The city, county and state used two tax incentives to lure Vetter. The county approved a recommendation by the city to give Vetter a Cook County Class 6B tax incentive, which will lower property taxes for 12 years. The company will pay property taxes at 10 percent of market value for 10 years, 15 percent in the 11th year and 20 percent in the 12th year. Property is normally assessed at 25 percent.

Vetter also is receiving a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

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