Wednesday, December 20, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: A rendering of a proposed trucking facility that Mit Express is looking to build in Maywood at 1001 W. St. Charles Rd. | Mit Express
A domestic shipping company that is currently headquartered in Broadview, and that has operations in four states, is looking to purchase a village-owned property in Maywood in order to build a domestic transportation facility.
The company, Mit Express, wants to purchase 1001 W. St. Charles Rd., from the village and build a 5,000-square-foot facility to repair and warehouse trucks and an additional 13,000-square-foot, two-story office building.
Michal Osika, the president and owner of Mit Express, said that he started his company 10 years ago and now operates in Washington, California, New Jersey and Illinois. He said that his company’s Broadview facility can’t handle the volume of truck repairs that have been coming in recently.
Osika said that, in addition to engine overhauls and other truck repairs, the proposed Maywood facility would also handle quick deliveries and drop-offs for companies like Amazon.
“It’s not an easy project, but we strongly believe that partnering with you, we’ll be able to accomplish our goal,” Osika said during a Dec. 19 regular Maywood Board of Trustees meeting, where the proposal was introduced.
Sherman Jones, a former Broadview mayor and current trustee in that village, was in attendance at the meeting to vouchsafe for the company.
“I’m here in support of Mit, because their base hub is in Broadview,’ Jones said. “I want to let you know what kind of business you’ll be getting if [Osika] comes to Maywood. He has grown from starting his business out of his apartment to having [hundreds of trucks and trailers].”
Jones said that inviting Osika into Maywood would be a “great business opportunity” for Maywood, adding that the proposed St. Charles trucking facility would be “state-of-the-art.” Osika said that the facility would be open 24 hours a day.
According to buzzfile.com, Mit Express generated an estimated $6 million in sales last year and employs an estimated 45 people at the Broadview location.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Osika requested that he be granted a Class 6B tax incentive, which would allow his business to be assessed at 10 percent of market value for the first decade, and 15 percent and 20 percent of market value in the 11th and 12th years, respectively, as opposed to the typical 25 percent assessment.
He also requested to participate in the Maywood Enterprise Zone, which could yield further tax incentives, and for the village to create a new TIF district for the site on which he’s planning to build.
In addition, Osika asked board members to allow his drivers to utilize 9th Ave. to Lake St. Currently, he said, “the only way right now accessible for semi-trucks is to take St. Charles to 25th Ave.”
Angela Smith, the village’s business development coordinator, said that the village would likely subdivide the land Osika is seeking to purchase in order to make it 2.99 acres at the corner of St. Charles Rd. and 9th Ave. — the last remaining, undeveloped acres of the former American Can site.
A rendering of a proposed 13,000-square foot office building that Mit Express is looking to build. | Mit Express
Smith said that the village would still own the land on which sits the water tower, but that Osika would not be subject to water retention regulations established by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
Smith added that if the deal between Mit and the village goes through, the 5,000-square-foot repair and warehouse facility could bring the village around $75,000 a year in taxes while the overall property tax bill would be approximately $150,000.
“This tax estimation is based on the neighboring five acre Cintas site, sold by the village at the height of the industrial real estate market for $235,000,” according to a Dec. 19 memo drafted by Smith and Assistant Village Manager David Myers. “The Cintas property is two acres larger than this parcel.”
According to the memo, the village would also realize revenues generated from the sale of vehicle stickers for every truck registered to the village. Trucks over 2,000 pounds are required to purchase annual stickers that cost $60.
Smith said that the property tax estimate she referenced on Tuesday doesn’t take into account the 13,000-square-foot office facility that Mit Express is proposing to build on the site. She said that her office will generate revised estimates based on the addition of that site at a later date.
During the Dec. 19 meeting, trustee Ron Rivers said that he was concerned about how the development would affect the quality of life for residents in the area. He also pointed out that truck traffic is restricted in certain parts of the village’s downtown area.
“We have schools on 9th Ave.,” Rivers said, adding that he anticipates residents could have problems with the noise, exhaust fumes and traffic that the trucks could possibly generate.
Osika said that, although the facility would be open 24 hours a day, the truck traffic will be light.
“This site is not huge and it has limitations, so I don’t expect huge traffic there,” he said, adding that at his Broadview facility, his company has “maybe four or five trucks in during the evenings.”
Addressing concerns about exhaust fumes generated by diesel fuel, Osika said that “very soon diesel trucks will be replaced by electric trucks, it’s a matter of two or three years,” and that he is looking forward to the transition.
Osika said that the maintenance facility will be equipped with triple basins that will prevent oil from penetrating through the concrete.
“Please put in your plan that your trucks cannot and should not be using 5th Ave. for access,” Rivers told Osika. “Right now, we have two trucking companies that sometimes circumvent that [standard].”
A site plan of Mit Express’s proposal to build a trucking facility and office space at the corner of 9th Ave. and St. Charles Rd. | Mit Express
In January, Rivers insisted the board take steps to limit semi-truck traffic in certain areas of 5th Ave., since the trucks deteriorate the grade of the street and have, at times, been the cause of property damage.
Osika said that allowing trucks to access Lake St. and 5th Ave. could be beneficial by taking some traffic-related pressure off of St. Charles Rd.
Smith said that village staff has participated in a trucking route committee facilitated by the Metropolitan Planning Council that evaluates the effectiveness of trucking routes.
“We’ll move forward working with our engineer and our neighboring communities to try to implement new trucking routes that work for our community and that dictate how trucks from O’Hare and the city move through our communities,” Smith said.
“Bellwood, Maywood, Schiller Park and Melrose Park were on that committee and we worked through a lot of those truck routes,” Smith added. “On that committee, we voiced concern that 5th Ave. is a truck route.”
The village moved to executive session on Tuesday to discuss a letter of intent related to the possible purchase of the land, the appraised value of which was not disclosed. The board is expected to hear a final presentation on the proposal at its next board meeting on Jan. 2. VFP
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