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PLEASANT PRAIRIE, WI-Uline, a distributor of industrial, packing and shipping materials, said it plans on spending about $100 million to move its headquarters here from Waukegan, and build a one-million-sf distribution center. The company plans on moving its 650 employees here from the current headquarters facility in Illinois, and will hire an additional 350 employees for the site just west of I-94 and south of Route 165.

A statement from Gov. Jim Doyle’s office said that the project includes the construction of a 200,000-sf office building that will house the corporate officers and personnel in marketing, information technology, merchandising and finance. Construction will reportedly begin in the fall, and the company will move into the campus in 2010.

The state will provide incentives for the project, including the designation of the site as an Enterprise Zone, which will allow the company to earn up to $1.7 million annually in refundable income tax credits. The company will also receive training funds of up to $1.5 million and a $1 million Transportation Economic Assistance Grant from the state. The Kenosha Area Business Alliance is giving the company a $2 million forgivable loan.

Many company moves are determined by where top officers desire to live, and this move is no different. Dick Uihlein, CEO, says his family is from nearby towns, and he and his wife Liz own a home and restaurant in Manitowish Waters, WI. The Uihleins founded the company in 1980 in their basement, and the firm has grown to employ 2,300 people with eight branches across North America. The company will keep the current site in Illinois as its Midwest Distribution Center. Company and state officials did not return calls for comment.

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