2010 Edie Award Winners Announced

Chicago, Elgin, Madison, Greenville, Northlake and Quincy Companies Announced as 2010 Edie Award Winners

News Release

The Illinois Chamber and Illinois Development Council Give “Edies” to Honor Those Who Imagine, Design, Invest, Build and Bring Jobs, Growth and Prosperity to Illinois Communities

Chicago, IL – What does a technology center in Chicago and an ethanol plant in Madison have in common with a series of commercial redevelopments in Greenville, Illinois? What does a data center in Northlake and a wind turbine gearbox facility in Elgin have in common with a manufacturing plant in Quincy?

The answer is all these projects were announced today as winners of the Edie (Economic Development in Illinois) Award. The annual award is given jointly by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Development Council (IDC) to recognize significant economic development projects finished last year throughout Illinois.

“Even in times of economic turmoil companies are out there investing in our state and creating jobs,” said Doug Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber is proud to be working with the Illinois Development Council to recognize some of the exciting developments that were completed across the state.”

The Illinois Chamber and IDC believe it’s important to showcase recent accomplishments -- especially when they translated into more jobs, tax base and economic vitality in Illinois.

“These companies and the local economic development teams are in the trenches across the state, creating jobs and investing in our communities,” said Ed Sitar, chairman of the Illinois Development Council. “These successful projects are too often overlooked and we wanted to take a moment and reinforce the notion that economic development like this is central to keeping our state vibrant and healthy.”

The Edie Awards have up to fifteen categories based on geography (City of Chicago, Metropolitan Chicago or statewide projects) and development type: manufacturing, commercial, energy, technology and transportation/distribution. The Illinois Chamber and IDC asked for nominations from across the state for projects completed in 2009 in any of those categories and an awards committee reviewed the nominees and determined the projects most worthy of an Edie Award. The six winners of the 2010 Edie Award are as diverse as Illinois’ economy, including:

  • Abengoa Bioenergy invested $256 million to build its signature ethanol plant in the Tri-City Port District in Madison, Illinois. The plant employs 60 people and produces 88 million gallons of ethanol and 300,000 tons of Dry Distiller Grain with Soluable. The plant uses 32-million bushels of corn annually and relies on the area road, rail and river infrastructure to receive its supplies and transport its products.

  • Ascent developed a 700,000 square foot Data Center resulting in a $600 million project in Illinois. The center is a mission critical facility that houses computer server equipment and related infrastructure to serve business-related information technology requirements. The project was originally designed to be leased by several technology companies. However, a global cloud services provider committed to leasing the entire facility and has since purchased the center from Ascent. The center supports full-time jobs and various service provider jobs that are needed to maintain the complex facility.

  • Economic Development Director’s Office, Greenville, Illinois. Even in a down economy, the Director of Economic Development in Greenville was able to attract and entice several commercial developments that have changed the retail landscape of the city and its 9,600 residents. A new CVS store, a Love’s Travel Center and Country Store that includes five service and restaurant businesses, a Motomart convenience store and fueling station and a Buchheit commercial retail center all opened last year and are already providing needed jobs and tax revenues to the area. Each individual project in the I-70/Route 127 Development Corridor made only a small impact, but combined they truly transformed the face of commercial offerings for citizens in the Greenville area.

  • Prince Agri Products, Inc. The company’s new 165,000-square-foot manufacturing, warehousing and laboratory facilities opened in the South Quincy Development District in 2009. The $18 million dollar project created 41 new jobs and retained 59 jobs and was assisted the by continued leadership of the Great River Economic Development Foundation. Prince Agri Products is a leading nutrition solutions provider for animal feed manufacturers, large integrated livestock producers and animal nutrition distributors/blenders around the world.

  • S&C Electric Company invested $33 million for its Advanced Technology Center -- the latest addition to its industrial campus on Chicago’s North Side. The ATC enables S&C to accelerate development and delivery of innovative electrical switching and protection products, including highly sophisticated automatic service restoration, energy storage and power quality equipment needed for the development of a Smart Grid in the United States. The 43,000 square-foot structure is LEED certified and has a “green” roof garden. In addition, S&C has partnered with the National Electric Energy Testing Research and Applications Center who will lease the facility for use with other companies across the country that want access to its unique testing capabilities.

  • Winergy Drive Systems and Siemens Drive Technologies invested $20 million in the expansion of the Wind Turbine Gearbox manufacturing plant in Elgin that assembles and tests mechanical gear drives used in wind turbines. The 170,000-square-foot, LEED-certified plant can assemble five, 33,000-pound gear drives daily. The expansion helped retain 142 jobs, and will create 350 new jobs over the next 2-3 years. Additionally, the expansion was aided by the leadership of the Elgin Area Chamber, the City of Elgin and the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in providing grants and tax breaks to entice the companies to stay and grow in Illinois. It also provides another example of Illinois' growing leadership in the still-burgeoning wind power industry.

The Edies will be formally presented at the Illinois Chamber’s annual meeting in Chicago on June 18.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests of Illinois business by working to improve the state’s business climate. The Illinois Chamber aggressively advocates legislation and public policies that support economic growth, and is a source of timely and reliable information on matters important to its members, Illinois employers and the general public. The Illinois Chamber also provides effective programs and services to its 3,500+ members to meet their business needs, including immediate answers to tax and human resources concerns and access to training and consulting services.

The Illinois Development Council is an association of economic development professionals and allies that strives to build relationships, professionalism, and a positive atmosphere in which to create jobs and wealth in Illinois. These individuals are employed by municipalities; not-for-profit economic development councils or community development corporations; utilities; railroads; planning commissions; state government; and other partners interested in retaining and growing businesses in Illinois. Members of the organization participate in mutually beneficial public policy, marketing and educational efforts.