Friday, December 15, 2017

General Mills signs for BNSF Chicago logistics park

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Aerial view of RidgePort Logistics Center. BNSF transcon route is at right. Aerial view of RidgePort Logistics Center. BNSF transcon route is at right. Jones Lang LaSalle

RidgePort Logistics Center, one of the largest rail-served logistics projects in the Chicago area, continues to sign up tenants.

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General Mills, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and other dignitaries in November cut the ribbon on the food company’s new 1.5 million-square-foot distribution facility at the 1,500 acre mixed-use center located in Wilmington, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago on BNSF Railway’s transcontinental route to the Ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach container hubs in Southern California.

RidgePort is being developed by Elion Partners and Alton Construction.

“Why are we so strong [in Illinois]?” Rauner said, and reported by The Herald-News. “Why are we the heart of transportational logistics? It’s because of our people...we are also very blessed. We have incredible transportation infrastructure.”

General Mills will officially open its distribution facility in January, handling Cheerios cereal and Nature Valley granola bars.

At full build-out between 2030-35, RidgePort expects to create 13,000 direct jobs across its 1,500 acres, with master-planned buildings from 200,00 to 2 million square feet. Plans call for offices, a hotel, fire station and other mixed-use facilities near Interstate 55.

RidgePort is eight miles south of BNSF’s Logistics Park Chicago, one of the largest inland container ports in the country, and not much farther to the Union Pacific Joliet Intermodal Terminal.

Other tenants include Lineage, Post Consumer Brands, Batory Foods, Michelin, and World Foods Processing.

Rauner has advocated for less of a regulatory burden to help the state’s economic growth.

“We are kicking tails in transportation and logistics,” Rauner said, “because we’ve got the people and all the attributes to boom.”

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