Manufacturer of A/V Mounting Equipment Expanding in Chicago

March 2, 2010
Peerless Industries Inc., a Melrose Park, Ill.-based manufacturer of audio/visual mounting equipment, will maintain its operations in Illinois and add at least 85 new jobs to its 405-person workforce over the next three years, according to the state.

Peerless will move operations from two campuses in Melrose Park to a single larger facility in Aurora beginning in May. The state provided a $2.9 million investment package to leverage nearly $17.5 million in private investment to facilitate the move.

"Peerless Industries is a valuable member of the Illinois business community. Losing the company to an out-of-state location would have put hundreds of people out of work and prevented Illinois from gaining new jobs," Gov. Pat Quinn said. "This is yet another example of how we're using available resources to create more jobs and strengthen our economy."

The new Peerless headquarters will be located at 2300 White Oak Circle in Aurora. The 307,813-square-foot facility sits on 22.5 acres and has 30-foot clear ceilings, 35 exterior docks, 400 parking places and LEED green building certification.

Peerless plans to add 22,000 square feet of office space shortly after occupancy, and has room on the property to add 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The company also plans to increase the building's strong environmental rating by installing solar panels and turbine windmills to generate power for the facility, switching to T5 fluorescent lighting and recycling heat produced by its powder coating ovens to heat the plant in the winter, according to the state.

Company Considered Indiana, Mexico

The company's relocation follows a 2009 decision by Peerless management to return all manufacturing jobs to the United States after four years during which 30% of the company's products were produced in China. The jobs moved back to the United States late last year after Peerless finalized plans to relocate to Aurora to consolidate operations, upgrade to a more modern and energy-efficient facility, and provide room for physical expansion.

"We were considering moving to Indiana, which was also offering us an incentive package, or to Mexico, where we have a small warehouse and sales office. But our roots in Illinois date back almost 70 years, and we wanted to stay here if it was economically feasible," said Michael Campagna, president/COO of Peerless Industries. "The incentives we received from the state played a major role in our decision to remain in Illinois and make the investment in our new property."

The state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will administer the business investment package, which will consist of tax credits over a 10-year period and Employer Training Investment Program funds.

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