City wants to bring in industries

City of DeKalb officials are considering plans for the construction of “spec” buildings in order to encourage industries to locate in DeKalb.

The construction of the buildings is part of the city’s economic development plan. DeKalb City Manager Mark Stevens said the construction of specification (spec) buildings would attract companies looking for sights with existing buildings. The buildings would be empty shells built to meet size specifications commonly looked for by industries.

Stevens said there are a significant number of industries that want to move into the Northern Illinois region. However, DeKalb lacks available buildings and is losing out to cities with vacant buildings. Last year, DeKalb lost an automotive parts manufacturer to Sycamore because the company was able to move into an empty factory there.

DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow said the city has empty buildings, but they are too old to fit the industries’ needs.

Both Sparrow and Stevens said that DeKalb is not considering financing and constructing spec buildings on its own. The city has been in contact with various developers attempting to develop a cooperative effort.

Stevens said the city has looked at possibilities such as deferring payment of the purchase price of land for a developer willing to finance the construction, but no action has been taken.