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By Jean Lotus
Wet-wipe company 2XL will be buying a long-vacant 50,000-square-foot, two-story industrial building at 7550 Industrial Drive. The company plans an extensive rehab of the warehouse building, which has been vacant for more than three years. The building formerly housed United Air Filter Inc. It was constructed in 1972, according to real estate records.
"We expect to be putting in over $1 million in rehab improvements alone," said 2XL CEO Robert Giammanco. "Most of the industrial buildings in Cook County have not kept up with modern safety and efficiency standards such as fire safety, ADA accessibility, lighting, etc.," he said in an email.
The company makes wet-wipes and industrial cleaners for trade shows, concerts, conferences, fitness centers and hospitals, Giammanco said.
"We have outgrown our location [2415 Braga Drive] in Broadview, and we are picking up the entire operation and going to be moving it over into the new facility."
The company currently employs fewer than 20 people, but Giammanco said they are ready to grow and he hopes to employ local Forest Parkers in the future.
"We expect to advertise in the local papers and to work with the Forest Park local government to help pull employment from the area," he wrote.
The company plans to move into the building by May 1.
The company requested a Class 6b tax incentive from Cook County to pay a lesser portion of county real estate taxes in exchange for rehabilitating an older building. The Forest Park Village Council passed through the Class 6b exemption at their Dec. 17 meeting. The county board will ultimately determine if the building qualifies for Class 6b classification.
"The cost of upgrading these buildings is expensive and time-consuming," Giammanco said. "But if a firm can find the right building and is willing to put in the extra care and money, a great reconditioned building in a wonderful location can be the result. That is our goal."