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JANESVILLE, WI-Ryan Cos. has been hired by Deere & Co. to build its new distribution facility here. The $17.5-million fast-track, design-build project includes a 500,000-sf storage/distribution structure and an adjacent 500,000-sf outdoor storage area.

The facility will occupy a 50-acre parcel of the Janesville Industrial Park located 1.5 miles west of Highway 90 on Highway 351. Completion is expected in June.

Ryan Cos. will coordinate the development and construction of the one-story structure, the surrounding 500,000-sf outdoor storage area and the related storm water management system. Firms partnering with Ryan on this project include OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids, IA; Spaceco, Inc. of Rosemont, IL; and KJWW Engineering of Moline, IL.

The Janesville site will allow relocation of the contracted distribution services currently based in Streator, IL. A third-party provider, which will be named early in 2002, has been contracted for distribution of lawn and garden products and will operate the facility.

“Relocating to Janesville will allow cost-efficient distribution of our products and provide a facility, which is better aligned with long-term asset management goals,” says Jeff Hoffmann, manager of consolidation and distribution at Deere & Co.

Hoffman says his company chose Ryan’s fast-track, design-build approach because because “they are capable of quality performance on a tight schedule while remaining within budget.”

Working with Deere during the past five years, Ryan Cos. has developed the 326,000-sf, $40-million John Deere Commons project in Moline, IL, and the 240,000-sf, $30-million John Deere Credit facility in Des Moines, IA.

Jeff Smith, chairman of Ryan’s Midwest division, says Janesville was picked because of the quality of the location and the industrial park and the city’s “proactive and business-friendly approach.”

The city council paved the way for projects like this when they bought 135 acres of industrial land in TIF No. 22 for the South Janesville Industrial Park, says Steve Scheiffer, Janesville’s city manager.

The new distribution facility at the South Janesville Industrial Park will create 50 new jobs, diversify the local economy and increase the municipal tax base without significantly increasing demand for city services, Scheiffer adds.

Incentives for the Deere project will likely include $2.8 million in tax increment financing to purchase the improved site and provide utilities and roads tothe facility. The guaranteed property taxes on the new facility will allow the city to fully recover its investment in the project within 10 years.

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