School bus maker inks deal for 900K-sf Joliet complex

Lion Electric will produce thousands of vehicles at Clarius Partners plant

Chicago /
May.May 07, 2021 03:10 PM
Clarius Partners managing principal H. Steven Duncan (Meridian Design Build via Vimeo, Clarius)

Clarius Partners managing principal H. Steven Duncan (Meridian Design Build via Vimeo, Clarius)

Lion Electric, which makes electric-powered school buses and trucks, has inked a deal with Clarius Partners on a 900,000-square-foot plant in Joliet.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker touted the move, saying in a statement it was “Lion Electric’s largest dedicated production site in the U.S.,” according to Crain’s. In a press conference, the governor called it “a big deal.”

The truck maker will produce up to 20,000 electric yellow school buses and trucks each year at the complex — now under construction — that’s part of the sprawling Clarius Park Joliet. The Canadian company will invest $70 million over three years, and hire more than 800 workers. The sprawling building is located at 3835 Youngs Road.

Lion will receive nearly $8 million in Illinois tax credits for meeting certain production and staffing goals, Crain’s reported. Work on the property is about three-quarters complete.

Chicago-based Clarius, whose managing principal is H. Steven Duncan, also developed a 1 million-square-foot complex — in partnership with JPMorgan Chase — at 3851 Youngs Road in 2013. Whirlpool signed a lease there two years later and TH Real Estate bought the massive distribution center for $72 million in mid-2018.

In another massive industrial deal in Joliet, Walmart recently inked a lease with CenterPoint Properties for a 1.1 million-square-foot spec warehouse completed last year.

Demand for Chicago-area warehouses and distribution centers is so strong that industrial powerhouses ML Realty Partners and Prologis recently spent $64 million to buy more than 100 homes in Bensonville that will be razed for two large complexes.

[Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman


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