JOLIET – Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. plans to open a distribution facility in Joliet.
JLL, a Chicago-based real estate brokerage company, has announced that 752,410 square feet of space has been leased in Clarius Park, a new industrial park on Youngs Road.
JLL identified the tenant as “a leading consumer appliance manufacturer” without naming Whirlpool. But sources confirmed that Whirlpool is the company moving into the space. Whirlpool did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Whirlpool will be the first company to move into Clarius Park, which is designed for four buildings and 2.8 million square feet of space. The Benton Harbor, Michigan-based company will go into a building that was constructed in 2012.
Kevin Matzke, managing principal with Clarius Partners, said the arrival of the first company into the industrial park reflects a rebound in the market.
“The industrial market along Interstate 80 is as good as it has been since 2007,” Matzke said.
He said the company will be moving into the building in phases during the summer. The building at 3851 Youngs Road is a little more than 1 million square feet. Clarius has plans to build another 1 million-square-foot building next door, but Matzke said a construction timetable has not been set.
John Greuling, chief executive officer with the Will County Center for Economic Development, said he believes Whirlpool plans to employ about 70 people at the facility.
Greuling also said the arrival of Whirlpool reflects a strong market for industrial development.
“I think we’re going to have some announcements in the coming weeks,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of existing companies looking at expanding.”
Companies that have announced plans for new distribution facilities in Joliet this year include Ikea and Cadence Premier Logistics. Both of those companies are going into the Laraway Crossings Business Park. An unnamed e-commerce retailer has been getting zoning approvals for a facility that would employ more than 500 people at Laraway Crossings.