3M expands area job market

By Nina Gougis

DeKalb residents can expect new jobs as global technology company 3M will expand its residence in DeKalb by spring 2005, city officials said.

Venture One Real Estate purchased the former Agco Corporation building, 1600 E. Lincoln Highway, and will lease 91 percent of the building’s 305,000 square feet to 3M.

Members of the DeKalb City Council received an announcement for the leasing plan Tuesday. City Manager Mark Biernacki announced the plan at a city council briefing Thursday.

The lease represents 3M’s third expansion over its 19-year presence in DeKalb. Its existing facility, 3050 Corporate Drive, employs 200 people and generates an estimated $9.5 million in annual local payroll, said Mayor Greg Sparrow.

Although the number of new jobs is undetermined, the expansion is expected to create at least 20 new jobs, Biernacki said.

More companies have been looking to establish residence in DeKalb because of Target Corp., which celebrated its groundbreaking Nov. 8 in Park 88, said Steve Milner, president of Milner & Associates Commercial Real Estate, 615 Sycamore Road.

Milner & Associates is working with Venture One to organize the leasing plan, Biernacki said.

“We’ve gotten high scores for transportation, quality of life and the labor force from Target,” Milner said. “Nationally, you’re going to get attention from that.”

In addition, the council will discuss a five-year traffic improvement program for the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, 3232 Pleasant St. The program will include construction of the west aircraft parking apron.

The council also will discuss bids for Sycamore’s former Ollie’s Custard, 2290 Oakland Drive.

The council will hold its next meeting 7 p.m. Monday at the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St.