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Business and Industry

building

Some people just seem to have an incredible knack for envisioning the future for places, although few could possibly have foreseen what great good could have come from a hole in the ground. Building from a massive hole in the ground and the community that grew around it, Warrenville has made a strong case for economic expansion, and developed into an important member of the research and development corridor of DuPage County.

Warrenville’s current business ethic has tried to stay true to that ethic of providing more than adequately for the community without the typically aloof, cramped urban area one might anticipate with rapid economic growth. Though originally settled as far back as 1833, Warrenville faced some difficulty in incorporating into a full-fledged town until 1967. Knowing only that information, a casual observer might wonder what a town of 4,000 could possibly have accomplished in the forty years after its incorporation. As it turns out, Warrenville has taken those forty years and accomplished quite a bit.

history

For years, a portion of Warrenville’s southeast quadrant had served the area well as a limestone quarry and concrete batch plant. Time and strain can drain almost any well, though, and the quarrying took its toll on the land. The 650-acre quarry eventually would grow increasingly less productive, and would devolve to little more than a hole in the ground. Fortunately, visionaries saw something more than just mining in Warrenville, more than a large hole in the ground.

Out of the void left from the limestone quarry, the city and developers came together to formulate the Cantera business hub that has currently helped put Warrenville on the map. Partnering with WDLP, Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Company, and Jones/Lang/LaSalle Partners, the city of Warrenville managed to create a mixed-use area now valued well over $430 million from an area previously worth a comparatively modest $8 million. Increasing the area’s value over fifty times its original worth in a relatively short span of twenty to thirty years took some creative thinking and innovative funding, both available to Cantera through years of preparation on behalf of the city and Cantera’s developers.

Cantera

A major portion of the genius behind Cantera and its success derives from the highly productive TIF district established within Cantera. Special taxation within the area allowed revenue into a unique account shared in part with the developers of the area and benefiting the city with the rest. Warrenville thus enabled infrastructure growth within Cantera on behalf of the city while also making economic development affordable and attractive to developers. The TIF district has allowed the city for $30 million that it would not have otherwise had, funding new sewers, library upgrades, and better care for the park districts, but also townhouses, luxury apartments, an AMC 30 theater, over a million square feet of new office space, and an office for BP America, Inc., Exelon, International Truck & Engine, among others.

Clearly, business thrives in Warrenville these days, thanks in large part to the visionaries behind Cantera. A hole in the ground need not be just that; fill that hole, make it work, and an entire city can thrive.

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