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The City of Crest Hill just made its name a little bigger in Will County with the announcement of its newest business park tenant Amazon, arguably the biggest brand in the world. Amazon will fulfill nearly half a million square feet of space in the Crest Hill Business Park. But it’s not just that Amazon is coming to the community of almost 21,000 residents, it’s what Amazon is bringing with that puts Crest Hill on the map for development.
Most municipalities would relish the opportunity to broadcast Amazon as their corporate neighbor. The online retailer adds so many assets to the community—jobs, taxes, brand recognition, etc. This is exactly what the City of Crest Hill wants and needs during a period of seemingly decreasing opportunities in retail development across the Midwest. The Amazon facility in Crest Hill will add several hundred full and part time jobs, which may increase significantly during peak holiday seasons.
“The City has worked hard over the past couple of years to finalize improvements in the Crest Hill Business Park, including a new entrance and roadway off Division Street,” said City Administrator Heather McGuire. “The new road was a key factor in drawing in a business of Amazon’s caliber.”
Amazon offers employees competitive pay and benefits. Full-time employees are offered innovative programs like Career Choice, where the company will pre-pay up to 95% of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.
Crest Hill will also benefit from the utility and property tax that a building just under 450,000 square feet relinquishes to the municipality.
Scott McMaster, Crest Hill’s Economic Development Manager has been working meticulously to bring positive attention from developers and investors to the city. “Crest Hill should be extremely proud to have Amazon. It’s a giant feather in our cap,” said McMaster. “Our goal is to expand our tax base and bring more marketability to our commercial corridors, specifically Weber Road. I believe having the Amazon name in Crest Hill helps us do both.”
Amazon has opened a handful of distribution and sort centers in the Chicagoland area. Crest Hill now joins the elite group of Joliet, Aurora, Romeoville and Monee—all who have Amazon facilities in their communities. What’s more is that being the biggest name in the world will certainly help bring acknowledgement and opportunity to Crest Hill. Amazon will undoubtedly boost Crest Hill’s visibility and spur more economic development opportunities.
Mayor Ray Soliman celebrated the Amazon and Crest Hill partnership. “We are very proud and excited to welcome Amazon to our community,” Soliman said. “I feel that having a business of their stature will be a tremendous asset to our city and will open many other doors and opportunities for economic development.”
Currently, a steady stream of businesses opened during the last year. These include well recognized retail chains such as O’Reilly Auto Parts on Plainfield Road, Friaco’s Mexican Restaurant on Renwick, and La Chicanita Bakery in the Hillcrest Shopping Center. Beyond that, Crest Hill is working to establish two Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts along its main commercial corridors to spur more economic development—and a few developers are already waiting in the wings. City staff meets with developers and real estate professionals every week to discuss potential opportunities, some of which are in the works.
Never has there been a better time to be part of such a great working class community as Crest Hill.
The story has caught the attention and been featured in the following publications:
Crain's Chicago Business
Chicago Business Journal