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Catholic companies have big building plans

New building will house 5 Stones, warehouse Ignatius Press books

SYCAMORE – Construction on a combination warehouse and office building at Bethany and Aster roads should be finished by the end of this year, those directing the project said, and it should be operational by February.

“It’s going to be a variety of things,” said Mike Pacer, president of Sycamore-based 5 Stones, a company that will be the tenant of the building.
5 Stones is a Catholic nonprofit organization that provides services for other Catholic agencies. One of the services it provides is warehousing and distribution, Pacer said. 

Workers broke ground in July on the new building, which is a partnership between 5 Stones, which will move in after completion, and the owner of the building, Guadalupe Associates of San Francisco. Guadalupe owns Ignatius Press, a Catholic publishing company based out of San Francisco, whose books will be warehoused at the site.

When completed, the building will have about 42,000 square feet of warehouse space and about 17,000 square feet of office space, spread out over two floors, Pacer said. There will be a million cubic feet of warehouse space, he said.

The Rev. Joseph Fessio, S.J., founder and editor of Ignatius Press, said that the racking for storing inventory should be in place in January.

The aisles will be 6 feet wide and the racking will be tall enough to have seven picking points or levels, Pacer said. In the aisles, a guide wire will prevent trolleys from steering into shelving units and instead force them to go only straight forward or backward.

Fessio said one touch specific to the nature of the work done by Ignatius Press will be a chapel inside the building, along with a California mission bell to sound at noon each day for the Angelus prayer. He said Mass will be held whenever a priest can be found to hold it.

Pacer said his company made a deliberate decision to remain in Sycamore and build, rather than buy an existing building elsewhere.

Many employees have moved to Sycamore to work for 5 Stones, more than half of them from out of state, he said.

“Eight different people purchased homes here recently,” Pacer said. “This is a beautiful community and a great town.”

The company has about 40 employees right now, but Pacer said he expects that number to increase once they begin to expand in the new location.

Right now, 5 Stones is based at
303 E. State St. in Sycamore, and has a warehouse in DeKalb. The move to the building at 1915 Aster Road will allow both offices to combine into one location.

The name 5 Stones comes from the biblical story of David and Goliath. The passage 1 Samuel 17:40 describes how David picked up five smooth stones from a brook before going to battle against Goliath, slaying the giant Philistine with a well-slung stone to the head.

The name also evokes the five core services 5 Stones provides: warehousing and fulfillment, development, marketing, customer service and design.

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