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CHICAGO-A West Pullman Industrial Park site originally targeted for Quality Croutons has drawn a Canadian plumbing supplies manufacturer and distributor to relocate its headquarters. The department of planning and development is negotiating a land sale with Toronto-based MIFAB, Inc., which plans to build a 60,000-sf, $4.2-million warehouse with office space on six acres at 1321 W. 119th St.

That company plans to have that project completed next spring. However, it is the first phase of what is expected to be a 100,000-sf warehouse and world headquarters for the company.

Quality Croutons had agreed to buy 9.5 city-owned acres for $103,455, about 12.5% of the value of the land according to a 2001 appraisal, for a 187,000-sf manufacturing facility. However, department of planning and development project manager Edward Lewis says the company based at 825 W. 37th St. in Bridgeport has terminated its agreement to buy the property, but is seeking another Chicago location.

Meanwhile, the city found itself in a fast-brewing bidding war for MIFAB, Inc., which was exploring locations in the suburbs as well as Indiana and Wisconsin, Lewis says. Although the company has customers in Asia and the Middle East as well as the US and Canada, many of them are located in the Chicago area, notes 34th Ward Alderman Carrie Austin.

“I found the atmosphere very welcoming from the planning department and alderman,” says company president and owner Michael Whiteside, whose company has a building division sales office in Brooklyn Park, MN. “I have looked at a number of sites in the Midwest and this site was very appealing to me. This will be our head office.”

The negotiations were approved Tuesday by the community development commission.

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