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Companies have invested $67M since DeKalb County enterprise zone’s certification

July 5, 2018 GMT

SYCAMORE – Companies that came into the DeKalb County enterprise zone have invested $67 million in new construction, renovation and rehab since the zone was certified in 2016, said Paul Borek, executive director for the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp.

Borek said the DeKalb County enterprise zone has brought in 26 projects since the zone was certified a year and a half ago. Of those 26 projects, 12 were manufacturing and industrial, 10 were commercial and mixed commercial use, two were professional services, and two were contractors.

“All in all, I think we’ve had a significant amount of activity; in particular, considerable expansion and development and notable business attractions,” Borek said.

An enterprise zone’s purpose is to encourage economic development in a geographical area by offering property tax incentives to new businesses and industrial developments.

DeKalb County, the cities of DeKalb, Sycamore, Genoa and Sandwich, the town of Cortland and the village of Waterman all are units of government that are part of the enterprise zone. The original participating taxing bodies within the zone were DeKalb School District 428, DeKalb Township, the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District, DeKalb Public Library, Sycamore Public Library, Kishwaukee College, Genoa-Kingston School District 424 and Indian Creek School District 425.

Other taxing bodies have joined the enterprise zone since 2017, including Genoa Township, the Genoa Public Library and, most recently, Sycamore School District 427.

Overall, Borek said, the enterprise zone has increased visibility and competitiveness business-wise for the county and attracting new investments, such as the Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant that DeKalb County dropped out of the running for in 2017.

“We would not have been a finalist for that project had we not been part of the enterprise zone,” Borek said.