Elk Grove Village freight company plans to move to Des Plaines

  • Highlander Transportation wants to build a new headquarters at 580 S. Wolf Road in Des Plaines. The company, currently located in Elk Grove Village, would bring 70 full-time employees to Des Plaines.

    Highlander Transportation wants to build a new headquarters at 580 S. Wolf Road in Des Plaines. The company, currently located in Elk Grove Village, would bring 70 full-time employees to Des Plaines. Courtesy of Des Plaines

 
 
Updated 8/17/2022 10:37 AM

An Elk Grove Village freight company plans to relocate to Des Plaines, bringing at least 70 full-time employees with it, city officials announced this week.

Highlander Transportation wants to build a new headquarters and distribution center on mostly vacant industrial land at 580 S. Wolf Road.

 

The family-owned company now leases space at 1300 Lunt Ave. The business, which also has facilities in Arizona and California, is growing and needs to expand its facility, attorney Zachary Kafitz said in a letter to the city.

The roughly 8.5-acre site in Des Plaines formerly was home to the Meyer Material Co. and Ozinga. A concrete plant and various buildings will be razed to make room for Highlander's proposed 63,000-square-foot facility, documents indicate.

Demolition and construction will cost about $16 million, Kafitz wrote.

The city council on Monday agreed to formally support Highlander's application for a Cook County property tax discount. No aldermen opposed the request.

"This is the kind of thing we want to encourage in Des Plaines, this industrial development (and) bringing a headquarters here," said 6th Ward Alderman Malcolm Chester, who oversees community development issues for the council.

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The regular assessment rate for industrial properties in Cook County is 25% of the fair market value. The tax break being sought would reduce the assessment rate to 10% for the first 10 years, to 15% for the 11th year and to 20% for the 12th year. After that, assessments will return to the normal rate of 25%.

That could save Highlander nearly $8 million in taxes over the course of the deal, city documents indicate.

Even with the proposed discount, the project could result in about $4.7 million in additional property tax revenue over the 12 years, Community and Economic Development Director John Carlisle said.

The proposed tax cut awaits the Cook County Boards approval.

Two city residents rose from the audience to speak about the project before Monday's vote. Both expressed concern about noise from trucks at the facility.

One, Bruce Ahlmann, requested limits on operating hours and a tall fence that could reduce noise.

"We still have to live there," Ahlmann said. "We want to have our families out in the backyards. We want to have our picnics in the summer. We want to be able to sleep."

Company owner Jan Leja said a fence is planned but that limiting hours could be difficult.

The proposal fared better than the last concept put forth for the land. In December, a school bus depot was proposed for the property. A request for a conditional use permit ultimately was rejected by the council, dooming the project.

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