- By Matt Sanctis Staff Writer
Navistar will break ground on a roughly $12 million construction project later this month that is expected to create close to 40 new jobs and retain 114 more.
Navistar is expected to break ground on a new distribution center at 1155 Phoenix Drive in Urbana on Thursday, May 18.
The roughly 356,000-square-foot warehouse would allow Navistar to consolidate operations and provide space for storage as part of Navistar’s joint venture with GM. Navistar is a major employer in Clark County with more than 1,500 workers in Springfield and thousands of retirees in the area.
The distribution center is part of an agreement with Damewood Enterprises. Damewood would own the property and lease the new facility to Navistar.
Navistar began production of a cutaway model of GM’s G Van this year. The companies have also reached a joint agreement to build medium-duty trucks in Springfield but work hasn’t started on that vehicle yet.
The businesses asked local school districts and the city of Urbana to approve a 10-year, 100 percent real property tax exemption to offset start-up costs and other business expenses, allowing Damewood to build the warehouse on the 35-acre Phoenix Drive property.
Navistar would retain 114 employees at its current facility at Edgewood Avenue, transfer 27 employees from a site in Bellbrook and hire an additional 39 full-time employees as a result of the project, according to documents sent to the Urbana City School District. Total payroll associated with the project is estimated to be about $6.8 million.
Retaining about 100 jobs and the likelihood of adding new positions was just one benefits of the agreement, said Marcia Bailey, executive director of the Champaign Economic Partnership.
“By having the new deal with the building, that will add significant real estate taxes once the abatement is over with,” she said.
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