LCEA supports groundbreaking of $124 million U.S. Cold Storage facility creating new opportunities for the county

LCEA supports groundbreaking of $124 million U.S. Cold Storage facility creating new opportunities for the county

The United States (U.S.) Cold Storage broke ground on a new storage facility in a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning. The facility was built with the incentives from the Lake County Council, NIPSCO, the IEDC and READI Grant funds from the State of Indiana. Located in south Lake County at the Northwest corner of I-65 & Route 2, the facility will help to bolster the county.

“It is a brand new state of the art $124 million refrigerated storage facility,” said Donald Babcock, President and CEO of the LCEA. “It should be operational in 2025, bringing 60 new wonderful high paying jobs to Lake County with the assistance of the state. I couldn't be more excited about it.”

LCEA Supports US Cold Storage Groundbreaking 2023

LCEA Supports US Cold Storage Groundbreaking 2023 32 Photos
LCEA Supports US Cold Storage Groundbreaking 2023LCEA Supports US Cold Storage Groundbreaking 2023LCEA Supports US Cold Storage Groundbreaking 2023LCEA Supports US Cold Storage Groundbreaking 2023

The project is expected to create many new jobs in the area, such as high-paying tech positions.

“There are three different pieces to the additional jobs,” said Jerry Tippy, Lake County Commissioner, 2nd District. “One piece would be all the construction jobs created for building the project, and there will be the full time jobs within the operation that are high paying high tech jobs. We will also have trucking jobs with the trucks coming in and out of the facility.”

Another reason the LCEA supports the facility is for the benefits it will have for Lake County’s economy. Cold storage is important for food distribution in the Chicagoland area.

“Food distribution is important to all of us, and it is important that we diversify our economy,” said Babcock. “We've been fortunate to have steel for so many years, but many of us have been working to try to diversify our economy, so we have more strengths no matter the state of the economy.”

For U.S. Cold Storage, building a new site in Hebron made sense. The facility connects well to others the company has in the area, making the south Lake County location the fourth hub for the company.

“As the population grows in the U.S., there are more services and storage needs that become evident,” said President and CEO of US Cold Storage Larry Alderfer. “This market particularly is a high growth market for us because we have so many transportation services we offer along with our storage services. This is the central U.S., so you can service the large Chicagoland market, or you can do the East Coast in a day. It's a great location, we have two sites in Illinois, and we have a site in Lebanon, Indiana that have logistics programs that work together. We really needed a fourth hub to connect those other facilities.”

As a longstanding company, U.S. Cold Storage looks forward to staying long term in Lake County.

“We are excited to be here today,” said Alderfer. “We love Indiana, and we really love investing here. We are a 125 year old company run by a 200 year old company in the United Kingdom (UK). We think long term, so we build a building like this which is built to last over 50 years. We're putting down roots in this county. It's very exciting, and how it's going to tie our whole Midwest facilities together.”

The facility was able to happen because of the support of the LCEA and the partnerships around the county. NIPSCO provided a discounted rate, and various county offices worked tirelessly to help the project come about.

“This is what it takes, projects like this are not done as a standalone,” said Babcock. “It takes a regional effort, and this is a win for the whole region. Having this down here will attract other businesses that are related, and on this very campus the plan is to have other entities locate nearby them. We are so proud that the LCEA has the support of a county and investors to be able to have US Cold Storage build here.”

"We will continue to work with landowners and developers to identify projects that fit our county and create new family-sustaining jobs; this is a great first start," said Lake County District Councilman Randy Neimeyer, indicating that he is focused on orderly growth and development along the I-65 Route 2 corridor.   

To learn more about the Lake County Indiana Economic Alliance, visit lcea.us.