Engineer Thomas Brandstedt of Novotny Engineering (left), Township of Lyons Supervisor Christopher Getty, McCook Mayor Terrance Carr and Bridge Industrial Partner Jon Pozerycki dig in at the ceremony. (Photos by Steve Metsch)
Huge project in McCook means ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,says mayor
By Steve Metsch
Noting that the Stevenson Expressway and Interstate 294 are both a short drive from now vacant land once occupied by the sprawling Electro-Motive plant in McCook, developer Jon Pozerycki smiled.
A partner with Bridge Industrial, Pozerycki stood where two buildings offering just under 1.2 million square feet to potential tenants should be completed in a year or so.
The Bridge Point McCook development is on the north side of 55th Street and east of East Avenue.
“It’s a great, great site,” he said. “Access to the interstates. Great for marketing to tenants.”
“We are building both on a speculative basis. Though we have a few tenants in mind who might take it, (we have) no commitments at this point,” Pozerycki said.
He is not worried. Far from it.
“For distribution warehousing, it’s a perfect location,” he said.
“I feel confident that we’ll be able to fill it up given the location, the fundamentals,” Pozerycki said. “We feel very confident we’ll be able to fill it even with maybe some volatility in the market.”
Told a new fueling station in Countryside is planned at the southwest corner of 55th Street and East Avenue, he smiled and said “very convenient.”
On June 1, a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony was held with officials from Bridge; ARCO/Murray, the company in charge of construction; and McCook Mayor Terrance Carr.
Carr is thrilled to welcome the development.
“A building of more than 1 million square feet is jobs, jobs, jobs,” Carr said.
That goes for construction jobs and jobs when the buildings are up and running, he said.
“When Bridge first came to us, they wanted to put a trucking terminal here. I said, ‘Absolutely not. We’re not putting a trucking terminal on 55th Street’. (They said) ‘No problem, mayor, we’ll re-do the plans.’ And they did.”
Carr noted that Electro-Motive still has 500 employees working at a testing facility north of the development. While good, it’s a far cry from the glory days when thousands worked 24/7 there building train engines.
Carr expects Bridge Point McCook to be welcoming tenants by the autumn of 2023.
“It’s pre-cast walls, so once they get the foundations in, you’re going to see it go up pretty quick,” Carr said.
Thomas Brandstedt of Novotny Engineering said that although bedrock close to the surface will offer a challenge for builders, it’s not insurmountable.
Bedrock that is removed may be crushed and re-used on the site for decorative purposes or parking lot bases, he said.
Wheaton-based ARCO/Murray will process about 100,000 tons of bedrock, principal Joe Rook said. About 5 million tons of structural steel will be used for construction, he said.
“We’re thrilled to be partners with the Bridge Industrial team,” Rook said. “We’re very excited to be working the village of McCook again.”
With one building at 992,126 square feet and the other 189,953 square feet, he said, “this is not a small project.”
The bigger building has room for two Goodyear blimps, 73 Olympic size swimming pools or 17 pro football fields, Rook said.
Brandstedt is not surprised the project is taking shape.
“When I met the mayor, he had a look in his eye. He said, ‘We’re going to do projects.’ There’s a lot of development in town,” Brandstedt said, noting another construction project east of the quarry operated by Vulcan.
This is the third project Bridge has worked on in McCook.
“When Cat made it aware they wanted to sell, we were all over it, given our relationship with the mayor and the location,” Pozerycki said. “We love the opportunity to be here.”
Bridge paid Caterpillar “$70 million to $80 million” for the 87.2 acres, Pozerycki said.
Carr said 20 developers approached the village.
At the groundbreaking, Township of Lyons Supervisor Christopher Getty called the development “great for the township for many reasons.”
“Any time you add a new taxpayer onto the tax rolls, it makes the burden easier on everybody else,” Getty said.
“Adding a building of this capacity and magnitude, it’s going to be a benefit for the Township of Lyons as a whole,” Getty added.
Carr smiled when asked what the project means to McCook. “Lower taxes for the residents,” he said of the village that just 220 people call home.
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