Press "Enter" to skip to content

Cook County Board Approves Tax Concession for Manufacturing Company

photo (1)
Toni Preckwinkle. president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and her fellow commissioners approved a property tax incentive for a manufacturing company to fill a vacant building in Elk Grove Village.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners granted a key property tax concession to a large manufacturing company in Elk Grove Wednesday. The concession was part of an effort to encourage industrial development in areas with high vacancies and abandoned property.

PMI Cartoning Inc., which makes machines that packs cartons and cases, will be able to use a new property tax incentive, known as a “Class 6b” assessment, to help purchase a neighboring abandoned building.

“We’re having a record year this year, and the timing of the acquisition and expansion couldn’t have been better,” said John Banas, PMI’s business development spokesman.

According to the Cook County Assessor’s Office, the purpose of Class 6b is to encourage industrial development by offering a real estate tax reduction incentive for new, rehabilitated or reutilized facilities and a goal to attract new business, promote company expansion and increase employment.

Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman said the assessment incentive is “a tool to boost the activity here in Cook County.”

Gorman said there a lot of pieces that go into using Class 6b such as realtor involvement, lawyers and municipalities throughout the county.

“So the word is out and moving,” Gorman said.

Since the abandoned property at 900 Pratt Blvd. met Class 6b criteria – buildings that have been vacant and unused for at least 24 continuous months and are purchased by a company that has no direct financial interest with the seller –PMI approached the Village of Elk Grove to start the expansion process last January.

COOK“You probably don’t go through a day without using something that PMI helped fill,” Banas said.

PMI has provided package-filling machines to food, beverage and cosmetic companies such as Kraft and Procter & Gamble for over 20 years.

With continued business growth, Banas said the company needed more space than its Pratt Boulevard location could provide and looked into purchasing the abandoned building next door.

Shortly after receiving the village’s approval to occupy, Banas said PMI moved equipment and employees into the building for storage and manufacturing.

Since expanding into the neighboring building, Banas said PMI has supplied more jobs and is looking to hire more mechanical and electrical engineers and industrial workers.

Although PMI started the process before receiving county board approval, Josh Grodzin, director of economic development for Elk Grove, said the village allowed PMI to move forward early because the credentials were met and because the village didn’t foresee any issues with receiving county approval.

Grodzin also said the village didn’t want to hold up business for PMI because the growth serves as a positive sign to the Elk Grove community, which has 62 million sq. feet of industrial building space, making it the largest industrial park in the United States.

“We’re taking a building that’s been vacant and abandoned for two years and having PMI, which is a very successful company that’s been around for awhile, start using it again is a good thing,” Grodzin said.

While this industrial building, which has been vacant since October 2011, isn’t the only abandoned building in Elk Grove, the village is working to find more incentives for businesses to expand and occupy the others.

“As a village we try to replicate [growth] over and over again because it’s a good thing when a business expands,” Grodzin said.

Although PMI’s expansion is a positive for the Elk Grove community, Banas said he sees quite a bit of vacant commercial and residential buildings on his drive to work.

According to the Village of Elk Grove’s real estate database, Grodzin said there are currently 134 vacant buildings – both multi- and single-tenant – which is 8.6 percent of the total industrial park properties.

“That vacancy percent is not a lot considering there’s 62 million sq. feet of space,” Grodzin said.

As for residential properties, the Institute of Housing Studies at DePaul University, almost 2.5 percent of Cook County’s total residential buildings have been vacant for two or more years, with the Northwest Suburb area, which Elk Grove is part of, seeing an increase of 0.65 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Despite these statistics, PMI’s acquisition attorney, Ronald J. Senechalle, said his experience hasn’t reflected these numbers.

“It’s probably more the exception than the rule,” said Senechalle, an attorney at Pluymert, MacDonald & Hargrove, LTD.

Senechalle said he thinks the economy led to an increase in building vacancies, but most of his clients have been selling their current property to get a space upgrade.

“You do see a real positive effect of a building being used again,” Senechalle said. “Seeing a company that’s thriving and not failing is certainly a positive in our practice.”

Elk Grove’s Grodzin said this is just a start.

“It should be a boost, but it’s one piece,” he said.


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *