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Local News

CAP Barbell looks to make wire fencing in Joliet

JOLIET – CAP Barbell has plans to add a manufacturing plant to its Joliet facility and double the size.

CAP is seeking property tax abatements from both Joliet and Will County before moving forward with the project.

CAP plans to manufacture wire fencing for home improvement stores, Joliet Economic Development Director Steve Jones said.

Jones presented the company’s request for a tax abatement Thursday to the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee, which later recommended approval.

The abatement request is set to be brought Tuesday to the full City Council for a vote.

The company seeks a five-year abatement on 50 percent of the property taxes on the plant addition.

The city abatement would be worth $75,000 over five years to the company, Jones said.

Houston-based CAP now runs a 200,000-square-foot distribution plant for its exercise equipment at 3499 S. Chicago St. The company would add 200,000 square feet for the fence manufacturing plant.

Homan Wong, an architect representing CAP at the meeting, said the company now produces wire fencing sold at Menards stores. The company is close to lining up a contract with a second national home improvement chain, he said.

“To get another home center to buy the product points to a very bright future,” Wong said.

The company now employs 32 people in Joliet. It would expect to employ 100 people by 2019 with the fence factory, Jones said.

Wages in the manufacturing plant would be $12 to $15 an hour, he said.

Jones noted that one of the economic development goals of the city is to attract manufacturing.

John Greuling, chief executive officer for the Will County Center for Economic Development, also was at the meeting in support of the abatement.

He said the Will County Board Executive Committee had voted for the abatement earlier in the day, and the matter would go to the full county board for a vote.

Greuling said the abatement for CAP rated high on a scale used by the CED to evaluate requests for tax breaks. The manufacturing plant was worth points, Greuling said. But the fact that CAP was an existing business, which has been in Joliet since 2007, also helped.

“They get a bonus for that,” Greuling told the committee. “Let’s help existing businesses expand.”

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