Bellwood Grants Tax Breaks, Could Lure Food Production Company

Sunday, September 20, 2019 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews

Featured image: An aerial view of buildings at 62 Davis Drive and 5303 St. Charles Road in Bellwood that Brett Anthony Foods is seeking to renovate with the help of property tax breaks. | LoopNet

The Village of Bellwood Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Sept. 18 to support granting Class 6(b) property tax incentives to a hat manufacturer and a food production business that wants to buy two properties in the village in order to expand its operations.

Stratton Hats, 3200 W. Randolph St. in Bellwood, is a century-old business that has been in Bellwood for around four decades. The company manufactures hats for uniforms for local and state police departments, as well as for federal law enforcement organizations such as the National Park Service and the U.S Border Patrol. Harvey said that the company applied for the incentive in order “to help retain the business.” 

“Without this assistance, Stratton Hats would be forced to relocate out of state,” Harvey said. “We believe keeping Stratton Hats in Bellwood along with the 30 jobs it provides is a benefit to the village.”

Brett Anthony Foods, which launched in 2009, is currently based in Elk Grove Village. The company prepares fresh and frozen food packages, wants to move to a larger space and plans to spend $6 million to renovate two buildings at 62 Davis Drive and 5303 St. Charles Road that have been vacant for the past few years, Harvey said.

The buildings used to be home to Bemis Flexible Packaging, which manufactures “rigid plastic packaging for food, consumer products, medical and pharmaceutical companies,” according to its website.

The buildings at 62 Davis Drive and 5303 St. Charles Road in Bellwood that Brett Anthony Foods is seeking to renovate. | LoopNet

The company closed its Bellwood plant in 2018 as part of a “larger restructuring,” according to a report in Plastic News. After Bemis moved, 52 employees who worked at the site lost their jobs.

Mayor Harvey indicated that Brett Anthony Foods would bring 350 jobs when it expands. 

“We are fortunate to have a growing company like Brett Anthony want to relocate to our village,” Harvey added. “Both these projects are examples of how the village is continuing to work aggressively to keep its current corporate residents and attract new ones.” 

A representative from Brett Anthony Foods was not immediately available for comment.

A Class 6(b) property tax incentive lowers a commercial property tax rate from 25 percent to 10 percent for 10 years. In year 11, the rate goes up to 15 percent, then to 20 percent during year 12, returning to the regular rate in year 13. The property owners can apply for an extension as many times as they want.

The Cook County Assessor’s office decides whether to grant the incentive, but it won’t consider the application unless the municipality where the property is located supports it. 

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