Friday, August 24, 2018 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews
Featured image: The facility at 10 Davis Drive in Bellwood, where GlassTemp Inc. is seeking to move. | Google Maps
GlassTemp Inc, a subsidiary of the Irvin Park-based Chicago Glass and Mirror Inc, is looking to move into the former Luna Carpet facility at 10 Davis Drive – but only if it gets tax incentives.
Cook County’s Class 6(b) property tax classification temporary lowers the amount at which industrial properties are assessed in order to encourage developers to rehabilitate existing industrial buildings or build new ones.
Peter Tsiolis, Bellwood’s economic development director, said that the company is looking to defray the costs of buying and renovating the building.
The village granted the necessary approval for the incentive on Aug. 15, but the Cook County Assessor’s office will make the final decision. If the assessor’s office decides not to grant the Class 6(b) status, GrassTemp will have a right to pull out of the deal.
Tsiolis said that Luna Carpet used the facility until the company was purchased by rival Empire Carpet. As part of the consolidation, the combined company closed the Bellwood facility in 2014. Since then, the property has been vacant.
Chicago Glass and Mirror Inc specializes in making glass and mirrors for bathrooms. Tsiolis said that GlassTemp Inc. handles the fabrication of raw materials for its parent company. The company looked at several facilities, he said, and they liked what they found in Bellwood the best.
“They like the facility, they also tell us they like the location of Bellwood,” Tsiolis said. “They love the potential workforce and the access to the interstate highways.”
The proximity to the highways, he said, would make it easier for out-of-town workers to get to the factory. The facility is also located within walking distance of Pace’s Route 313 and a few blocks west of Bellwood’s Metra station.
Tsiolis said that, in addition to buying the building, GlassTemp plans to spend $100,000 on improvements “above and beyond the purchase price.”
The company will create 15 full-time and four part-time jobs. Tsiolis added that, if the business goes well, they hope to add six more jobs.
But in order to recoup the investment, GlassTemp is looking to reduce its tax burden. Normally, industrial properties in Cook County are assessed at 25 percent of the market value.
The Class 6(b) classification lowers that to 10 percent for 10 years, then raises it to 15 percent in the 11th year and 20 percent in the 12th year. After that, the rate returns to 25 percent, although the property owner has a right to ask for an extension.
Tsiolis said that he wasn’t sure how much money the incentive would save GlassTemp, but he argued that it was a net positive for Bellwood, because even when taxed at 10 percent, the business would still bring in $13,000 more than a vacant property.
It should be noted that any company that gets Class 6(b) incentive must not only follow the Cook County minimum wage, but pay a “living wage.”
According to the county’s website, that means that the company must pay at least $15.08 an hour if they don’t provide health benefits and at least $12.07 if they do.
Tsiolis explained that while GlassTemp is buying the property, the deal is contingent on it getting the Class 6(b) classification within the next six to nine months. If the company doesn’t get the incentive, it will likely pull out of the deal, he said. VFP
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