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Downers Grove lands huge Rexnord aerospace development

Downers Grove has landed a massive aerospace development with the announcement Thursday that Rexnord Corp. is staying put in the western suburb.

Milwaukee-based Rexnord is planning to build a 248,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and aerospace headquarters, which is expected to be completed by 2019.

After conducting a national site search, Rexnord decided to replace its existing 200,000-square-foot facility in the Ellsworth Business Park, which was built in 1956.

"It's a win not only for Downers Grove but for the state of Illinois because it's a manufacturing project that could have left the state," said Michael Cassa, president and CEO of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corp.

About 310 employees work at the facility, Cassa said.

Rexnord, a 125-year-old manufacturer across multiple industries, was offered several financial incentives to stay in Downers Grove, with Community High School District 99 and Downers Grove Grade School District 58 both agreeing to provide a 10-year property tax abatement, Cassa said.

In addition, the village is scheduled to vote next week on a proposal to reduce Rexnord's building permit fees by 50 percent. Cassa said the village incentive would be worth about $100,000.

Rexnord's aerospace division provides bearings, seals, gears and electrical components that are used in everything from a plane's rudder to its landing gear.

"We are building a new facility at our current manufacturing site to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers," a Rexnord spokeswoman said in a statement. "The new facility will feature additional capacity and upgraded technology."

The Rexnord site is one of the larger properties at Ellsworth, a 351-acre business park near both interstates 355 and 88.

"This is going to serve as a great anchor for Ellsworth," Cassa said.

rchannick@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @RobertChannick

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