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updated: 12/20/2017 4:28 PM

Carpentersville offers tax incentives for Otto project

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  • Otto Engineering's new technology and manufacturing center is expected to be built on a 30-acre Carpentersville property, which is in need of engineering and infrastructure improvements before construction can begin.

    Otto Engineering's new technology and manufacturing center is expected to be built on a 30-acre Carpentersville property, which is in need of engineering and infrastructure improvements before construction can begin.
    Lauren Rohr | Staff Photographer

  • Otto Engineering is planning to build a new 100,000-square-foot technology center in Carpentersville.

    Otto Engineering is planning to build a new 100,000-square-foot technology center in Carpentersville.
    Courtesy of Otto Engineering

 
 

Carpentersville's largest employer will receive tax incentives from the village to help finance site preparations for a new technology and manufacturing center.

Otto Engineering plans to build a roughly 100,000-square-foot facility at Carpenter Boulevard and Cleveland Avenue to house its tooling, stamping and machining operations. The new building will also include space for an apprentice program aimed at training young workers for a career in the trades -- what Otto President Tom Roeser calls the "essential jobs."

But a majority of the 30-acre parcel Otto purchased this summer is unbuildable, Roeser said, and the site needs significant engineering work and infrastructure improvements before construction can begin.

At Roeser's request, the village board this week agreed to repay Otto Engineering for up to $300,000 of expenses for the project's first phase, which includes construction of a storm sewer outfall and design work for road and infrastructure upgrades.

The reimbursement will be paid out after the work is complete using funds from the village's Old Town tax increment financing district, created last year, according to village documents.

In a TIF district, the property tax revenues that go to local governments are frozen for 23 years at a certain level, set on a base assessed property value. Any taxes generated above that level can go back into redevelopment.

"I've never asked for any help before, but this particular parcel is so different," Roeser said. "The TIF money is going to be appropriately used to help us mitigate the problems with the land."

The deal will also help Otto adhere to the village's "substantial" development regulations, Roeser said. A cost estimate for the project was not yet available.

Much of the engineering and infrastructure design work can begin immediately and be completed during the winter, which will allow building construction to start in the spring if all goes well, Economic Development Director Patrick Burke said. The facility is expected to open in the spring of 2019.

In addition to incentivizing timely construction, Burke said, the village's deal with Otto ensures the entire site is prepared for future development opportunities. The manufacturing center is expected to take up only 10 acres, he said, but the land improvements will span the entire 30-acre property.

Upon completion of the first phase, Roeser said he might seek a second redevelopment agreement to help with the project's next steps. Burke said Carpentersville officials are enjoying working with Otto on the project and would be willing to negotiate such a deal.

The manufacturing center, less than a mile from Otto's main campus at 2 E. Main St., is expected to employ about 50 people and provide a unique training opportunity for recent high school or community college graduates, Burke said.

"This is going to be our largest industrial project in quite some time," he said. "This is going to be a great addition for Carpentersville."