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3M expansion project cleared to start

Work on new distribution center can begin by Saturday

DeKALB – 3M can move dirt and begin working toward its expansion project by Saturday, after City Council members unanimously approved the initial plat plan Monday and waived a second reading. 

The vote was made after a positive recommendation from the DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission and allows for design details to be approvedby city staff.

Community Development Director Ellen Divita said 3M, which is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is still working on its final design for the project. 

“There isn’t much room for variance,” Divita said. “It’s a big building on a big lot. The building will be in substantial conformation to the existing building so we’d be looking at basic site design such as parking lot, landscaping and lighting.”  

The $40 millon project, originally referred to as Project Black Bear, will create an interconnected campus for 3M, maker of products such as Post-its and Scotch-Tape, among other things. 

The expansion includes the construction of an about 987,500-square-foot distribution center in DeKalb’s Park 88. The company will receive tax breaks of up to $4 million in the form of property tax abatement. The company will lease the property but is paying the property tax on the land, officials have said.

The company also received property tax breaks when it leased its three buildings at 1250 Macom Drive, 1211 Fairview Drive and 2600 Wirsing Parkway, county documents show. 

3M – and its 250 employees – will exit facilities on Wirsing Parkway and Barber Greene Road, taking the company out of the DeKalb–Sycamore shared revenue boundary area. The company has been vague about whether any new jobs will be created as part of the move.

If construction goes according to plan, the company will be in the new building by August of 2016, City Manager Anne Marie Gaura said

City officials have touted the benefit of having a Fortune 100 company in DeKalb. Mayor John Rey reiterated the sentiment Monday. 

“I’d like to thank council for your support in this investment in our community,” he said. “And I’d like to thank [the developers] for their cooperation on this project. We’ll move forward.”

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