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Former Republic Steel mill to be replaced with $164 million project, 1,300 new jobs

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 former Republic Steel mill on Chicago's Southeast Side will be replaced by a $164 million industrial campus that's expected to create more than 1,300 new construction and factory jobs just across the state line.

NorthPoint Development broke ground last week on a "mega project" that will place more than 2 million square feet of new industrial space on the 196-acre site. Republic Steel opened there in 1901, and its 100-year history includes the Memorial Day Massacre of 1937, when 10 striking steelworkers from Northwest Indiana and the South Side were killed. The mill was bought by LTV Steel in 1984 and closed for good in 2001.

Suburban Kansas City-based NorthPoint Construction has started construction on the first 360,000-square-foot industrial building on the 12200 block of South Burley Avenue, which is directly across Wolf Lake from Hammond.

“NorthPoint is bullish on the 10th Ward, the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois," CEO Nathaniel Hagedorn said. "We are excited about what is happening here, and we appreciate the opportunity to be part of it.” 

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NorthPoint, which has developed more than 49 million square feet of class A industrial space across 16 states over the last seven years, ultimately plans to build six buildings ranging from 215,000 square feet to 600,000 square feet at the site. As many as 10 manufacturing or logistics companies could ultimately occupy the 2.3 million square feet of space that's planned.

The new industrial park sits next to NorthPoint's 2.8 million-square-foot supplier park that serves the Chicago Assembly Plant on Torrence Avenue.

"We have made tremendous strides in bringing new investments to the 10th ward," Alderman Sadlowski Garza said. “I look forward to the facility's ability to generate new jobs and am confident that this community anchor will provide continued economic growth for years to come."

Chicago is giving the developer $52 million in tax-increment financing money to pay for roadwork, infrastructure, and environmental remediation.

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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.