St. Charles Sees Marked Growth in Industrial Sector in 2011
In spite of an otherwise sluggish regional and national economy, 2011 has been a very prosperous year for industrial sector growth within the City of St. Charles. There are a number of reasons why industry continues to fare well in the St. Charles. Among these are the city’s outstanding access to regional transportation facilities, including two expressways (I-90 and I-88), four state highways (Routes 25, 31, 38 and 64), the Union Pacific Rail Road and neighboring DuPage Airport. The city also enjoys a local labor pool that includes percentages of professional and highly skilled persons exceeding state and national averages. Finally, the city maintains public utility capacities that facilitate economic development, particularly in the industrial arena, including its own electric utility that can offer low rates that very few, if any communities can presently match.
With respect to national manufacturing interests, 2011 has seen the expansion of RR Donnelley and Armour-Eckrich in St. Charles. RR Donnelly recently purchased the former 500,000 square foot, former Pier 1 Imports building and expects to fully occupy this building over the next 18-24 months. Phase 1 occupancy will employ some 175 employees, while anticipating several hundred additional jobs to be created through build-out. Food processing giant Armour-Eckrich has begun construction on an approximately 13,000 sf expansion of its existing St. Charles facilities. To be completed next year, this addition will house eleven state-of-the-art drying chambers for cured meats.
Aside from the two previously mentioned national interests, within the St. Charles east side industrial area alone, the city has issued permits this year to expand light industrial development totaling more than 125,000 sf. Included among the new businesses to St. Charles are Bema, Inc. an Elmhurst-based plastics packaging firm specializing in serving the food and medical equipment industries (60,000 sf); PDS Transportation Services, a full service transportation company serving all 48 contiguous states(31,000 sf);and IGM Resins, Inc, a Dutch-based chemical import, distribution and blending company specializing in inks and coatings (12,000 sf). Existing St. Charles businesses that have undertaken expansions to their facilities include
Corrosion Monitoring Services,a unique company that assesses and repairs corroded tubular air heaters(19,000 sf) and Midwest Powder Coating, who provides powder coating finishes to a national customer base, catering to the demands of the motor sport enthusiast(7,500 sf addition).
When one considers its local transportation assets, highly skilled local labor pool and city-owned electric utility, offering power costs that are among the lowest in the State, and you can readily understand why St. Charles has been long-recognized in Chicagoland as a focal point for light manufacturing activity.