CHICAGOThe fledgling I-39 Logistics Corridor Association has retained Lake Bluff, Ill.-based Block Associates, Inc., to market the significant logistics and distribution assets of this burgeoning regional economic development corridor, announced Roger G. Hopkins, executive director of the DeKalb-based association. Block Associates, headed by Nikki Block, president, is a full-service marketing firm, exclusively focused on the commercial real estate industry. The agency will assist the association in capturing new regional investment by developing a new identity program, building awareness for the corridor and its communities, and producing marketing materials, special events and a new Web site.
The corridor spans a 10,000-square-mile area encompassing two states and 14 counties. It is 165 miles from Janesville, Wis., on the north to Bloomington, Ill., on the south and 65 miles from Sycamore, Ill., on the east to Sterling, Ill., on the west. It includes Rock County in Wisconsin and all or portions of the following Illinois counties: Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson, Whiteside, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, LaSalle, Bureau, Marshall, Livingston, Woodford, and McLean. Besides the six interstate highways that intersect I-39 within the corridor (1-43, I-90, 1-88, I-80, I-55 and 1-74), our transportation infrastructure includes seven airports, six major rail lines and barge ports along the Illinois River, Hopkins said.
Last summer, a group met to explore the possibility of organizing such a large association. By August 2002, the association had been officially founded to develop a more unified marketing message and to pool resources for projecting the new corridors identity.
To join the I-39 Logistics Corridor Association, a company must sign a formal partnership agreement that pledges membership for a three-year period at $500 per year. With memberships in the corporations name, any employee can attend quarterly meetings and participate in the work of the association. According to Hopkins, the broad-based appeal of the association is attracting developers, contractors, real estate brokers, land owners, economic development agencies, trucking and warehousing companies, manufacturers, research and development firms, railroad, utilities, airports, air freight firms, title companies, colleges and universities.
Currently we have 32 paid members and anticipate between 50 and 60 members by the end of this year, he said. We want real estate decision-makers to know that we are ideally located at the very apex of the U.S. logistics convergence with Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Appalachian Mountains to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west. Not only do we have an excellent transportation infrastructure, traffic along the I-39 Logistics Corridor moves free of congestion to and from north/south and east/west destinations, said Hopkins. The association will identify resources of interest to the logistics industry including trucking, intermodal, air freight, railroad and passenger facilities.
In addition to a Public Relations Committee and a Government Affairs Committee, the association has formed a Steering Committee, which includes Larry Cass, ProblemSolver with Rockford, Ill.-based Workplace Staffing; Gary G. Dahl, president of Peru, Ill.-based Double D Express Inc. and Double D Warehouse LLC; Mike Fonda, senior director of the Rosemont office of Cushman & Wakefield of lllinois, Inc.; Patrick Gallagher, senior vice president, Skokie, Ill.-based The Alter Group; Mark B. Goode, SIOR, CCIM, principal of Riverwoods, Ill.-based Venture One Real Estate, LLC; Jeffrey J. Janda, principal of the Chicago office of Lee & Associates; Lynne Kilker, director of Oregon, Ill.-based Ogle County Economic Development; Barb Koch, executive director & CEO of the LaSalle -based Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development; Robert A. Levin, executive director of the Rockford Area Council of 100; Mark A. Maday, board member with the Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation; Rick Nolan, director of the Bloomington-based Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area; James R. Otterstein, Economic Development manager of the Janesville, Wis.-based Rock County Planning and Development Agency; and Roger Hopkins, executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation.
To learn more about Block Associates, Inc., visit www.blockassociates.com. To learn more about the I-39 Logistics Corridor Association, contact Roger Hopkins at (815) 895-2711.