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Local News

E-commerce operator headed for Joliet, bringing 500-plus jobs

JOLIET – An unnamed e-commerce company will bring at least 500 jobs to Joliet, the owner of the property told the City Council on Monday.

The council approved a preliminary plat for the project with some discussion about how to regulate the expected increase in truck traffic from that and other projects moving into the Laraway Crossings Business Park along Illinois 53.

There may be more jobs coming from the e-commerce retailer, said Dave Poquette with Global Logistics Properties, which owns the vacant warehouse slated for redevelopment.

“I know it’s 500-plus,” Poquette told the council.

He noted that the plan calls for 800 parking spots, and the facility will run two shifts.

“It’s all new positions,” Poquette said in response to a question of whether the jobs would be relocated from elsewhere in the area. “They’re penetrating the market for the first time.”

The plan is to have the facility operational by mid-October and doing business soon after, he said.

City officials said they either could not say who was moving in or did not know.

“I don’t think we can publicly say who they are, but I’m sure we all know who they are,” Councilman Jim McFarland said. “It’s a household name.”

McFarland, however, did not name the company.

There was some speculation that Amazon was moving into Joliet.

Poquette described the company as “a nationally oriented Internet retailer.”

“Their goal is to be operational by the holidays,” he said.

The company would be ahead of two other major projects slated for the Laraway Crossings Business Park.

IKEA in February announced that it was moving forward with previously announced plans to build a 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center in the business park. The project was first announced in 2007 but put on hold. IKEA said it plans to be in operation by summer of 2017.

Cadence Premier Logistics has presented plans to the city for relocating its corporate office and distribution operations from Alsip to Joliet. The company said 120 jobs would be relocated but it expected to add more than 100 jobs in coming years.

The additional operations would mean more trucks.

City officials want a traffic light at Emerald Drive, which is the entryway off of Illinois 53 that will lead to the new facilities coming to the business park.

The council approved an escrow account that will include a $150,000 contribution from the owners of the vacant warehouse to be occupied by the e-commerce operator. That money will be saved for future improvements at Illinois 53 and Emerald.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a temporary sign ordinance that would put new restrictions on the use of banners, flags and other types of temporary signs;

• Approved a handbook that included rules for removing council members who stop attending meetings, a provision that was sought after Councilwoman Susie Barber missed months of meetings before she resigned.

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