Pleasant Praire-based Uline, which recently announced plans to double the size of its corporate headquarters campus and add 500 jobs there, this week announced that it will also move its Midwest distribution center operations from Waukegan, Ill. to Kenosha. That move will bring an additional 475 jobs to Kenosha County.
The company, a distributor of industrial moving and packaging products, currently has about 1,100 employees in Pleasant Prairie. Once the headquarters expansion project and the Midwest distribution center relocation project are complete the company will have about 2,075 employees in Kenosha County.
Uline’s Midwest distribution center operations will move to a new facility that will be built on a 200-acre site at Highway 142 and I-94, across the the freeway from where a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center and a 500,000-square-foot distribution center are being built for Amazon.com. Total Amazon employment in Kenosha could reach 1,575 at the two facilities.
Uline plans to build a 60,000-square-foot office building and a 1 million-square-foot distribution center for its Midwest distribution operations (serving Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa) at the Kenosha site at I-94 and Highway 142. Construction is exected to begin in the spring of 2015. The office building will house the company’s largest call center.
The company has a contract to purchase the site, which was recently annexed from the Town of Paris into the City of Kenosha.
Uline moved its corporate headquarters in 2010, relocating from Waukegan, to a new 200,000-square-foot office building and a 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Pleasant Prairie. That distribution center serves as the company’s national distribution center. The company recently announced plans to build a second 200,000-square-foot office building and a second 1 million-square-foot distribution center at its corporate headquarters campus.
The company’s planned facility at I-94 and Highway 142 in Kenosha will mean the end of its operations in Waukegan. All of the employees there will have the option to relocate to the new facility and some of them already live in Wisconsin, Uline spokesman Bill Broydrick said.
The company is moving the operations to Kenosha because the Waukegan facility is too small for its current and future needs, Broydrick said.
“Uline has deep roots in the State of Illinois,” said Executive Vice President Phil Hunt. “In fact, the company was founded in Illinois 34 years ago. The (Uihlein) family did not want to move out of Illinois. However, we could not find a large enough site that was shovel-ready. All of the sites we looked at had serious challenges that could not be resolved quickly enough to meet our timeline. The State of Wisconsin, Kenosha County, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA), the City of Kenosha and the Town of Paris were all instrumental in working together to resolve any issues to make this site shovel-ready for Uline. We appreciate all of their hard work.”
Uline never sought, nor was granted, any public funds for the project, Hunt said.