The Lowe’s facility will initially bring in 500 warehouse jobs when it opens in early 2007. But the work doesn't stop there; taking into account an additional 1,000 construction jobs around the site.
Leaders are labeling Lowe’s as the city's biggest employment boom in 30 years.
City aldermen all give the go-ahead to the Lowe’s center, to be located on this land at Montague Road and Harrison Avenue.
The Lowe’s distribution center will be three times that of UPS at the Greater Rockford Airport, and could eventually expand to employ about 750 people.
The city of Rockford will provide about $3.5 million. That includes the land's purchase, utility upgrades and road work next year to expand Springfield Avenue to four lanes.
Not surprisingly, city leaders are ecstatic about finalizing the Lowe’s deal.
"You complain, you're getting jobs with no health insurance. All these jobs have that benefit. That's a big deal for the community, plus it's 500 new jobs in Rockford, so they're talking about another company coming, we're talking about another company staying," Alderman Frank Beach said.
Construction for the Lowe’s distribution center is expected to get under way by late September.
City officials hope Lowe’s will have the base of the facility in place by the end of this year.
The development agreement between the city and Lowe’s ensures the corporation will stay in Rockford for at least 12 years. A Chicago consultant group estimates that the Rockford area will see a direct economic impact of $1.3 billion across 20 years from the Lowe’s center.