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Massive $169 million industrial complex planned near state line on Chicago’s Southeast Side

A monument stands across from the former Republic Steel plant on Chicago's East Side. A developer is planning a major industrial park at the site.

The site of an old steel mill is getting new life on Chicago's Southeast Side, not far from the state line.

Kansas City-based NorthPoint Development is planning a massive $169 million industrial complex at the former Republic Steel site that could employ as many as 1,300 factory and warehouse workers around the border between Southeast Side and Hegewisch.

LTV shuttered the more than century-old steel mill — perhaps best known as the site of the 1937 Memorial Day Massacre of striking steelworkers — when it went bankrupt in 2001.

“This is a major project that will create good jobs in the 10th ward,” Alderman Sadlowski Garza said. “And even more than that — it demonstrates the progress we are making to strengthen the ward and drive new investment and economic growth.”

NorthPoint also developed the nearby 155-acre auto supplier park that serves the Chicago Assembly Plant. It's eyeing 2.2 million square feet of state-of-the-art industrial space on a 196-acre site at 116th Street and Avenue O. Industrial and logistics buildings ranging from 215,000 square feet to 600,000 square feet would host one or more firms.

The first building will be constructed speculatively, or without a tenant lined up in advance, on the 12200 block of South Burley.

“As Chicago continues to strengthen its economy, the city is working to ensure each of our neighborhoods grow with us,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Today marks the latest investment in the Southeast Side that will create more jobs and more opportunities for this community while keeping us on the cutting edge of a dynamic industry."

The project is expected to create 650 construction jobs.

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.