Construction starts soon on Weber Grills project in Huntley

HUNTLEY – Village trustees on Thursday cleared the way for the maker of Weber Grills to build its expansion project in Huntley, a day before the company breaks ground.

With minimal discussion, board members unanimously approved Weber-Stephen Products' final design to build a 757,120-square-foot global distribution center east of the Huntley Outlet Mall along Freeman Road, near Interstate 90.

Weber and real estate developer Duke Reality expected final approval, organizing a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new center for late Friday morning. Local and state officials and possibly Gov. Pat Quinn could help start construction on Friday.

Board members first discussed the expansion project in early May, as Weber began working through the village's planning process.

"We are extremely excited about completing construction as soon as possible, so we can immediately begin operations," said Dean Duffy, executive vice president of global supply chain at Weber.

The new distribution center will rest on about 58 acres of the 131-acre site, with roughly 19 acres slotted for future development. The rest of the site will include stormwater, wetland and roadway additions.

The center allows Weber to transform its existing Huntley facility along Oak Creek Parkway to a manufacturing factory. The combined moves are expected to create nearly 500 jobs within the village.

After tackling Weber's final designs, board members allowed Billitteri Enterprises to start formally planning a new multitenant office space at the former Sawyer-Kelley Mill site.

The historic mill was demolished last week, following months-long debate on whether to renovate or raze the late-1800s building.

In other business, the board inked a three-year contract with the 12 public works employees from the streets and underground division.

The deal gives employees annual salary raises of 1.5 percent, 1.75 percent, and 2 percent during the three years. The contract expires in December 2017.

Village staff and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 negotiated the first-ever labor contract for the public works division, which includes full-time and regular part-time workers.

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