- Jan 21, 2016
Property at 3411Woodhead Drive that has been vacant for over two and a half years could end up as the new home for Skokie based Atlas Fibre Company, if a request for a Cook County 6b tax break is approved. The company needs a larger facility due to growth and plans to increase its workforce in Northbrook from 63 employees to 70, and eventually to 85 in the next five years.
At last month’s Village board meeting, Trustees expressed their initial support for the owner’s request for the 6b incentive that would make it possible for Atlas to occupy the building. Atlas warehouses, manufactures and distributes plastics and precision machining. Two other Atlas divisions would also occupy the property: SGM Precision which specializes in the machining of plastic, non-metallic and metal components and Atlas Billiard Supplies which manufactures parts and supplies for the billiard industry.
The current owner invested nearly $1 million on the site since 2012 (on parking lot repairs, exterior walls, windows, door repairs, replaced the roof, interior floor and loading dock repairs, electrical system and lighting) to make the building more attractive to potential tenants. Atlas would invest approximately $600,000 in the facility by building out the office space and installing new HVAC units.
Because it has been unoccupied since 2012, the building meets one of the qualifying 6b requirements in the “abandoned’ category, so the lower assessment rates would apply to the entire property, reducing the tax obligation by slightly over half.
Trustee Todd Heller, an often vocal opponent of 6b requests indicated that in this case he would likely make an exception. “This would be one of the rare 6bs that I could support — it meets all of the criteria,” he commented.