WILMINGTON - Gov. Bruce Rauner joined area officials at a ribbon cutting today to open a new 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center for General Mills. The facility, located at the rapidly developing RidgePort Logistics Center in Wilmington, could employ up to 150 people when it is fully operational.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, General Mills is a worldwide company that is home to such well-known brands as Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Haagen-Dazs, Annie’s, and Cascadian Farm. Its new distribution center in Illinois will ship General Mills products to destinations across the U.S.

“Illinois is the nation’s logistics and distribution hub,” Rauner said. “As a business person, I can see why General Mills has chosen our central location, our unmatched transportation systems and, most important, our pool of highly skilled Illinois workers. Seeing this facility open is testimony to our state’s central role in the distribution of goods to every part of the nation.”

“The Wilmington customer service facility will be a key addition and a critical location for the General Mills distribution network,” said Mike Nordstrom, General Mills vice president for Global Workplace Solutions. “From this location, we will deliver top-selling cereals, snacks and other products to customers across America.

“We’re also proud that this facility will continue our company’s strong commitment to treating the world with care, as we anticipate that the building will achieve LEED Silver certification,” Nordstrom said.

“What a tremendous boost this will be for the Will and Grundy county areas both for jobs and the local economies,” said state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, who invited Gov. Rauner to Wilmington. “Our area has some of the most talented and knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to logistics. I hope we can build off this momentum and other companies see the great things that are happening in the area and choose to locate here as well.”

The new General Mills center is part of the sprawling 2,500-acre RidgePort Logistics Center that is being developed by Elion Partners about 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is providing $113 million in multimodal improvements involving highway (I-55) and rail infrastructure.

“An additional feature of RidgePort Logistics Center, apart from its infrastructure and logistical location, is servicing the trucking profession,” said Michael Stellino, managing director of development for Elion Partners. “By having a mixed-use logistics park, we are responding to the needs of the truck drivers, employees and tenants of the park such as General Mills.”

Located in Will County, RidgePort Logistics Center is the largest planned, rail-served industrial park in the Chicago market with 30.6 million square feet of potential development. About 5.4 million square feet have been developed to date, and 810,000 additional square feet are under construction.

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