Bolingbrook mayor absolutely hates Amazon’s 825K sf real estate project

Roger Claar said he made it clear to e-commerce giant he “wouldn’t support” warehouse compound

TRD CHICAGO /
Feb.February 13, 2020 11:12 AM
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Mayor Roger Claar with the Bolingbrook property along route 53 and (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Mayor Roger Claar with the Bolingbrook property along route 53 and (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

Amazon wants to bring 1,500 new jobs to Bollingbrook,[https://therealdeal.com/chicago/tag/amazon/] but they’re missing support from a critical stakeholder: Bolingbrook’s mayor of 33 years, Roger Claar.

“I told them I wouldn’t support it when they met with us,” Claar told Crain’s. “Then they closed two weeks later.”

The $51 million deal is for 119 acres of land which was the former site of an amusement park in Bolingbrook. Amazon plans to build an 825,000-square-foot fulfillment center that would bring around 1,500 jobs paying about $15 per hour. Though most politicians would happily tout the jobs he or she has created, Claar is down on the proposal. And since Amazon requires a zoning change from the town, he looks likely to kill the deal.

“I would like to see a diversity of businesses with a variety of jobs,” Claar told Crain’s. “You make $30,000 – that’s not a lot of discretionary money for shipping in Bolingbrook.”

Claar’s major concerns were over the $15 per hour wage and the design of the fulfillment center. The proposed warehouse would be around eight or nine stories and have no windows.

“That’s something that belongs out in the country, it’s not what I have in mind,” Claar said.

Claar also expressed concerns over the traffic the fulfillment center would cause along Route 53 and I-55.

Bolingbrook already has some major corporations in the area such as WeatherTech, which employs more than 1,500 workers and beauty-empire Ulta which has over 1,200 employees. [Crain’s] — Jacqueline Flynn


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