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