Lake County’s talent and strong mix of industries fueled record growth in 2023, with the year marking one of the best runs of economic development in the county’s history. Lake County Partners celebrated its 25th anniversary with major investments, new partnerships, and the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to support businesses, advance economic mobility, and enhance quality of life. The organization also celebrated president & CEO Kevin Considine’s recognition as a Titan 100, marking him as one of Chicagoland’s top 100 CEOs, for his leadership and dedication to economic development.
All told this year, LCP’s work drove $610 million in capital investment, helped create 786 new jobs and resulted in 512 retained jobs.
“The last 5 years have been incredible from a business and job growth perspective, and 2023 is probably our best year yet” says Lake County Partners’ Director of Business Development Director Ron Lanz. “We have had the honor of working with industry leaders to help them expand in Lake County, and we’ve marked the success with a number of groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings. Heading into 2024, LCP’s project pipeline remains robust, particularly in key industries like advanced manufacturing, life science and sustainable energy. Based on my conversations with business leaders, I’m looking forward to continued positive momentum.”
Between all the groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, award ceremonies, international delegations and everything in between, there were plenty of occasions to celebrate in 2023. Here were just a few of the year’s biggest highlights:
NEW & EXPANDED BUSINESS WINS DEFINED 2023
After working with LCP to seal the deal, RealWheels cut the ribbon on a 65,000 sq. ft. facility at 3905 Route 173 in Zion to accommodate growth, new jobs and additional product development. RealWheels has expanded locally several times over the years. Today, the company has over a dozen U.S. patents, employs 60 people and offers a catalog of products proudly made in the U.S.
In recognizing the value of Lake County’s talent, vitamin and supplements manufacturer Carlson Labs acquired 350,000 sq. ft. for its expanded manufacturing operations at 100-120 Schelter Road in Lincolnshire. This highly-automated facility will retain 50 jobs in Lake County and add an additional 140 to the thriving workforce.
MIF SPEC BUILDING
Midwest Industrial Funds joined local officials and LCP in celebrating a groundbreaking for the Libertyville 45 Corporate Center, a Class A spec redevelopment on a high-visibility 19-acre site, which will feature two buildings sized 169,065 sq. ft. and 165,234 sq. ft. and have the ability to service a multitude of uses including corporate headquarters, distribution, assembly, and manufacturing.
Italian pizza maker Roncadin committed to Lake County for its new and expanded US headquarters, manufacturing, and distribution operations via the purchase of a 68,279 sq. ft. building at 220 N. Fairway Drive, Vernon Hills. With full operations starting in early 2024, Roncadin will employ 170 workers at their state-of-the-art facility.
HENRY BROCH FOODS
At the Big Event, LCP honored food manufacturer Henry Broch Foods with the Community Investment Award for the company’s decision to expand its existing Waukegan headquarters by adding 160,000 sq. ft. of new production, robotic warehouse and distribution space, representing a capital investment of nearly $40 million. As part of the project, the company retained 400 existing jobs, and added 150 new jobs.
Medical device manufacturer Nemera, which produces auto-injectors and syringes in Buffalo Grove, is further expanding in Lake County with the purchase of 190,000 sq. ft. at 600 Darling Drive in Vernon Hills. The facility’s 100 new employees will support production of Nemera’s proprietary ophthalmic products, producing the multidose eyedropper Novelia®.
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