Crain’s Headlines: Bolingbrook Mayor Won’t Support Amazon Plan

Amazon’s push to build a massive network of warehouses to store and distribute goods may be moving into Bolingbrook, but the town’s mayor isn’t thrilled about it.

The e-commerce giant last month paid almost $51 million for a 119-acre site straddling Route 53 in the western suburb and plans to build an 825,000-square-foot fulfillment center there.

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It’s similar to plans it’s eyeing in Maywod and Pullman, but Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar says he won’t support the proposal for a project that would bring some 1,500 mostly temporary, $15 dollar-and-hour jobs to the area.

Zoning restrictions for the site are tight, and Claar says Bolingbrook is looking for companies that offer higher paying and a more diverse collection of jobs.

In other Chicago-area business news:

Chicago-based grocery delivery company Peapod is shutting down its service in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana starting next week.

It’s a response to e-commerce competitors like Amazon and Instacart encroaching on territory Peapod helped pioneer when it was founded in Illinois in 1989.

Peapod will still be headquartered in the West Loop, where the company has about 200 employees, but it’s letting go around 500 associates in Chicago, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

Peapod’s Midwest revenue has fallen over the past decade by about 30% to just under $100 million.

And finally, the University of Illinois has landed the largest donation it’s ever received from a board trustee.

Private equity executive Don Edwards and his wife Anne are giving $10 million to support the school’s creation of the Discovery Partners Institute research center in Chicago and other related innovation projects at branches across the state.

The 53-year-old Edwards is CEO and founder of Chicago-based private equity firm Flexpoint Ford and was appointed to the U of I board two years ago by former Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Note: In an earlier version of this story, the name of Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar was misspelled. The story has been corrected.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

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