Online Staff Report
Federal Express will expand its current operations to the Rock 39 Industrial Park, at I-39 and Baxter Road in Winnebago County. The location gives them access to seven major highways that intersect the corridor, as well as the Chicago Rockford International Airport. The purchase was finalized June 3.
“Between UPS air, FedEx ground and Conway Freight, we have established ourselves as the North Central logistics capital,” said Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R).
Construction of the 186,000-square-foot facility is expected to begin in the next two months and will cost upwards of $20 million. It is estimated the project will create 150 new jobs for the region.
Christiansen, along with the County Board and Rock River Water Reclamation District, has worked for years to provide “shovel-ready” opportunities at the location. These efforts included improving roads and bringing water and sewer to the site.
“It is our belief that this expansion, combined with our existing manufacturing base, will most certainly attract new companies to this region, as well as providing opportunities for the expansion of existing companies in the future,” Christiansen said.
For years, regional officials have promoted northern Illinois for its equal district from Madison, Wis., Milwaukee and the Chicago suburbs. When Rock 39 was first constructed, it was estimated that the combined 1,000 developable acres at I-39 and Baxter Road could eventually attract 5,000 new jobs to the region.
“I-39 allows you to bypass the congestion in Chicago completely,” said Mark Goode founder of Venture One Capital, developer of Rock 39. This will make northern Illinois locations more attractive as congestion continues to grow east of the county.
“Winnebago County has been exceptional to work with on both short- and long-term industrial development issues over the past several years,” Goode said. “The vision to recognize that this area can serve as a viable and dynamic logistics and manufacturing region was paramount to the success of completing this transaction. And, when FedEx comes in, it is often followed by other e-commerce business.”
Posted June 4, 2014