Try 1 month for 99¢
Illinois steel company could bring 100 jobs to Gary

Alliance Steel is considering a move to a new $35 million production facility in Gary from its current location in Bedford Park, Illinois.

GARY — An Illinois steel company is proposing to relocate to the city and create 100 new jobs.

Alliance Steel Corp. submitted a bid to the Redevelopment Commission this week for 25 acres of land at 6200 Industrial Highway. The Redevelopment Commission is expected to vote on the $925,000 bid on Aug. 2.

In the bid package, CEO Andrew Gross said Alliance Steel Corp. and its sister companies, Alliance Steel LLC and Affinity Metals LLC, are interested in relocating business operations from Bedford Park, Illinois, to Gary.

"This $35 million relocation would include construction of a new 250,000-square-foot production facility and accompanying offices — to be built by Valparaiso-based Chester Inc. — as well as significant investment in new production equipment. This relocation will result in approximately 100 new jobs in Gary," Gross wrote in the proposal.

Gross could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

"It would be wonderful," said Joseph Van Dyk, the city's planning and redevelopment director. He said the proposal also is "a pretty natural fit" for the area that is zoned for heavy manufacturing.

In its bid package, Alliance said the project will be financed through corporate cash on hand, traditional bank financing and various federal, state and local incentives.

Bo Kemp, executive director of the Gary Economic Development Corp., wouldn't go into details about the project Thursday, but said the city will host an event Aug. 3 in which they will talk about this venture and others going on in that area. No local incentives have been awarded at this time, he said.

According to information contained in the bid package, the building will be capable of producing 250,000 tons of steel annually and will be served by rail. A timeline accompanying the proposal anticipates construction to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2018.

In addition, Gross wrote, the majority of the trucking operations of a separately owned company will relocate to Gary with Alliance's move to the city.

Chester Inc. also provided information as part of the bid package that said it had completed preliminary design and project pricing for the building, site and development infrastructure.

"A financial commitment is in place to execute the development project with a start date in October 2017," according to information signed by Pete Peuquet, CEO of Chester Inc.

Peuquet could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

The bid was in response for a request for proposals for 78.06 acres at 6200 Industrial Highway that had been put out by the Redevelopment Commission. The commission was looking for a minimum bid of $35,000 per acre; the Alliance bid comes in at $37,000 an acre for the 25 acres it is seeking.

The only other bid submitted was a hand-written one by frequent administration and redevelopment critic Jim Nowacki. He submitted a bid of $135,000 and said the use of the property would be for a locally owned manufacturing facility providing architectural components.

The land bid on is property acquired as part of a 2014 deal involving Carmeuse Lime and Stone. The company wanted to purchase land from Majestic Star Casino for expansion but only needed 70 acres, while the casino preferred to sell all 200 acres to single buyer. The city brokered a deal in which Carmeuse bought all 200 acres, but transferred part of the land to the city for industrial development.

Van Dyk said the city is making significant infrastructure improvement in the area to support large companies like Alliance, including the extension of Buffington Harbor Drive through the site with the help of state and regional grant money.

12
1
1
1
9

Ed has been with The Times since January 2014. He previously covered government affairs for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Florida. Prior to Scripps, he was with the Chicago Regional Bureau of Copley News Service.