Villages seeking industry

By on February 27, 2009

Larger employers bring jobs, could lead to more people, retailers
by Martha Quetsch
Local village officials agree that industry is just as important as retail and residential growth to the area’s economy.

“You have got to have a variety of elements. One feeds off the other,” Maple Park Village President Ross Dueringer said.

MP wants manufacturing jobs
Industry would be great for Maple Park, Dueringer said. But he does not foresee it coming in the near future.

“We have been open to listening to any light industry, but haven’t been approached by anyone. Unfortunately, the last few years, everything has been at a standstill.”

The village lost one longtime company that was located on County Line Road just north of Route 47, a business that made steel shelving, when it moved to Aurora, Dueringer said.

An industrial park was proposed for Pritchard Road about two years ago, but the village could not agree with the developer about annexation terms, Dueringer said.

With industry in town, residents could work locally, and the village would gain property taxes with the new growth without burdening schools like residential development does, Dueringer said.

Dueringer believes industry could attract more retail to the village, too.

SG is industrious
Sugar Grove officials in recent years have been committed to boosting industrial growth in the village. The reason is to increase the number of local jobs, which starts a positive chain reaction, said Perry Clark, former Economic Development Corporation director in Sugar Grove.

“Jobs drive population, and a larger population attracts retail businesses,” Clark said.

Sugar Grove currently has two general locations with industry. One is the 110-acre Waubonsee Corporate Center at Heartland Drive and Route 47, and the other is at Route 30 and Dugan Road.

Until a few years ago, the business park at Heartland and Route 47 was struggling, with just a 30 percent occupancy.

Through the efforts of the village and the EDC, including business incentives and recruitment, the park was redeveloped and renovated, and since has grown to house about 50 companies.

“It used to be a dilapidated, run-down industrial park. We got a lot of complaints from residents about it,” Clark said. “Over a two-year span we grew that industrial park to what it is today.”

The Route 30 and Dugan Road area, comprising 130 acres, also has about 50 businesses. Most are light-industrial companies, Village Planner Mike Ferencak said.

Sugar Grove’s comprehensive land-use plan features other areas village officials want developed partly as industrial property. Those are along both sides of Interstate 88 east of Route 47, and around the Aurora Municipal Airport on West Route 30, Ferencak said.

With the goal of drawing even more industry to Sugar Grove, the village is extending Municipal Drive north of Route 30 and extending Galena Boulevard west to meet it. With that improvement, village officials hope Sugar Grove attracts more large companies like HondaJet, which recently decided to locate its Midwest operations at the Aurora Municipal Airport.

Kaneville has first industry
The first industrial company in Kaneville opened in 2008, Linear Kinetics, which produces customized automation systems such as computer-based robotics for manufacturers.

It is the only industry in Kaneville, but village officials would like their town to have more, and so would Kaneville residents, based on their responses to a survey by the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission, formed after the town incorporated in 2006, asked residents what type of development they wanted in Kaneville. About 55 percent of respondents said that industrial and commercial development were important to them, Village President Bob Rodney said.

But they want limited, light-industrial expansion.

“Residents have indicated they don’t want to turn (Kaneville) into a big manufacturing complex,” Rodney said.

Luring additional industry to Kaneville will not be easy, because the village does not have the resources to supply water or sanitary sewer connections, Planning Commission Chairman Joe White said.

White said Planning Commissioners will talk in the coming months to the village’s development consultant about what areas to designate for industry in the new comprehensive plan.

If Kaneville is able to attract industrial companies in the future, the location the village likely will steer them to is along the proposed Prairie Parkway route, in the proximity of the gravel pits, White said. In preliminary discussions about industrial growth, village officials said they did not think industry would be a good fit elsewhere, near residential neighborhoods.

Elburn ready for more
The village of Elburn also welcomes industrial growth, promoting the town’s business centers and buildings on its website, There, it lists several industrial parks located in Elburn with space still available, either ready to occupy or to build.

One of those is the 12-lot Welch Creek Business Center just north of Keslinger Road on Stover Drive and Herra Street, built in 2006. Its developer, Drew Frasz, said Welch Creek currently has just two vacancies. Others include Columbine Industrial Park, in the area of Keslinger and Thryselius Drive, and Keystone Industrial Park, on Dempsey, Hicks and Paul streets.

Among the many businesses located in these parks are auto repair shops, including the new Boyce Auto Werks in Keystone, custom machining firms, filtration specialists and window and lighting companies.

In addition to the business parks in Elburn, several buildings offering industrial space are located at scattered sites in the village, such as 724 Hicks Drive and 747 Herra St.

The village does not plan unlimited industrial growth, but its comprehensive land-use plan does designate additional land for business parks including a large, undeveloped swath along Keslinger south of Route 47. Village Administrator David Morrison said it already is zoned for manufacturing and commercial use, so a future industrial developer will not have to obtain a zoning change.

“It’s what we call ready to go,” Morrison said.

Village officials made sure four years ago that Welch Creek had manufacturing and commercial zoning, too, rather than a special use.

“That really expediates development,” Morrison said.

Did you know …
about these two local companies that provide products and services to the U.S. military?

Hy-Tek Manufacturing Inc.
1998 Bucktail Lane
Sugar Grove
Hy-Tek Manufacturing Co. Inc. designs and produces specialized products for industrial, commercial and government markets. Clients that Hy-Tek has provided engineering or manufacturing services to include the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and NASA. Among Hy-Tek’s products is an explosion-resistant design for military applications of its computers.

Controlled Force
609 Thryselius Drive
Controlled Force provides anti-terrorism tactical training programs that teach techniques to police and government agencies for how to respond to personal, physical threats. Its clients include the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Security Forces. The company’s products include Freddy S.T.A.T., a simulation tactical advanced trainer.