Lured by $6 million in state and local aid, the Illinois-based ULINE shipping supply company will move its headquarters from Waukegan to Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County. The move, which will include a million-foot distribution center, should produce 1,000 jobs for Wisconsin, officials said.
Gov. Jim Doyle made the announcement this morning
with ULINE owners Dick and Liz Uihlein, who said they will spend $100 million on the building project.
Michael Pollicoff, Pleasant Prairie village administrator, said he expects ULINE to break ground this summer. He said the company headquarters will be just to the south of Abbott Labs’ 500-acre campus.
Abbott is expected to move to Pleasant Prairie sometime in the near future, and the village board of Pleasant Prairie recently completed a development agreement with Abbott, Pollicoff said.
“The ULINE decision is great news,” Policoff said. “This will bring about a change to the village. Having corporate headquarters instead of mostly warehouses will make a real difference.
“And any time you can add 1,000 jobs, you jump at it,” he said.
Doyle said he was “delighted” to welcome ULINE to Wisconsin.
“ULINE is a rapidly growing company that is known worldwide for its quality products,” Doyle said.
“Wisconsin has so many great assets – outstanding schools and communities, a history of innovation, the hardest working people anywhere in the world, and a quality of life that is second to none. We have grown Wisconsin by making it the premier place in the world for manufacturers, agricultural producers, and new economy businesses looking to start or expand their operations.”
Doyle said the ULINE site has been designated as an Enterprise Zone enabling the company to earn up to $1.7 million annually in refundable income tax credits based on payroll by creating jobs that pay more than $30,000 per year.
ULINE can also receive training funds up to $1.5 million. Doyle also announced that the state will provide a $1 million Transportation Economic Assistance grant, and Kenosha Area Business Alliance will provide a $2 million forgivable loan to support the project.
The company will move 650 employees from its Illinois facility to the new facility and will hire and additional 350 new employees. The project involves new construction of a state-of-the-art campus with full amenities.
The distribution center will be 1 million square feet. The headquarters will be 200,000 square feet and house the corporate officers and personnel in marketing, information technology, merchandising and finance. The campus will be located just west of Interstate 94 and south of Route 165.
Dick Uihlein, CEO of the company, said both he and his wife have roots in Wisconsin.
“Liz’s cousins, the Hanson Family, have been long time residents of Mellen. My relatives, the Uihleins, have played an important role in Milwaukee’s history.
“Liz and I have a home and restaurant in Manitowish Waters where we enjoy the fishing, hunting, hiking, and the beautiful outdoors that make Wisconsin so unique. We are pleased to be continuing this tradition with the move of our corporate headquarters to Pleasant Prairie.”
ULINE was founded in 1980 by Dick and Liz Uihlein in the basement of their home. Today, the company has grown to more than 2,300 employees with eight branch locations across North America.
The company is a leading provider of shipping supplies to businesses throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. The ULINE Midwest Distribution Center in Illinois will remain open.