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Project Ventus tax incentive package approved by DeKalb school board

DeKALB – An unknown knowledge-based company eyeing DeKalb’s southside is one step closer to solidifying a tax incentive package to entice it to choose DeKalb for a $800 million investment.

The development, known as Project Ventus, comes on the heels of Ferrara Candy Company’s announcement they it will invest $100 million into the ChicagoWest Business Center and build a 1.6 million-square-foot distribution facility, bringing with them 1,000 jobs. Ventus’ investment would be significantly more ($800 million to build on the 900,000-square-foot space in ChicagoWest) and bring with it 50 high-end jobs.

Since the new year, city officials and Paul Borek, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation’s executive director, have been soliciting support from surrounding taxing bodies to expand the boundaries of the Enterprize Zone and to better prepare for the potential knowledge-based company.

DeKalb School Distrcit 428 is the latest to sign on to the intergovernmental agreement with the Enterprize Zone – thanks to a unanimous vote of approval at their last board meeting Tuesday – which will create a tax incentive package to make DeKalb look more appealing to the bid.

Part of the proposed 20-year, 55% property tax abatement would require an $800 million investment by the unknown company, a requirement of 50 jobs, and 900,000-square-feet of development in a 505-acre area south of Project Hammer on Gurler Road, city documents show.

The DeKalb City Council has already approved on Jan. 13 an extension which expanded the physical parameters of the enterprize zone from the 13 miles it currently has to then include the 505-acre site, which is composed of roughly four different pieces of farmland owned by four different individuals.

The land that Project Ventus would sit on also will be annexed from Afton Township to the City of DeKalb.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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