Elmhurst, IL-based MRO products distributor McMaster-Carr is notoriously for keeping company information under wraps, but new documents show that the private firm is planning a major expansion to its headquarters.
Patch.com reported July 21 that the Elmhurst City Council voted to unanimously approve McMaster-Carr's proposal to exceed its zoning area's 45-foot building height limit on a 460,000-square-foot expansion to its current facility on 600 N. County Line Road. City documents show that the company's expansion will require a 66-foot high building height for its majority, which includes a mezzanine level, parking spaces for 38 trailers and 195 employees. The expansion would comprise 396,000-square-feet of floor space and 64,000-square-feet mezzanine/equipment level space.
The documents didn't state the size of distributor's current Elmhurst facility, but site plans show it to be well over twice the size of the proposed expansion.
Patch noted that an Elmhurst alderwoman said that McMaster-Carr may have moved away if the city rejected the expansion proposal.
A company letter to the city planner dated May 15 of this year said that the project's development schedule had to be adjusted due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 impacts, but that McMaster-Carr anticipates beginning construction in late 2020 at the earliest, with substantial completion of construction expected in 2022.
In the letter, the company said the needed 66-foot building height is "critical to our ability to upgrade our site and modernize operations for decades to come."
The expansion is the final step in McMaster-Carr's multi-year strategic expansion plan that began in 2018. That plan so far has included a new parking deck that was completed in November 2019 and a data center completed this past February.
"As our business has grown, our operational needs have evolved to the point that we must expand our warehouse to support our customer order and inventory growth projections," the company said in the May 15 letter. "We must invest in state-of-the-art technology in our facilities to meet our customer demands and to continue offering industry-leading service."
McMaster-Carr hasn't shared financial information in recent years, but it's likely the company's revenues would place it in the top 10 of Industrial Distribution's 2019 Big 50 List.
Founded in 1901 in Chicago, McMaster-Carr has been headquartered in Elmhurst since 1978. Along with Elmhurst, the company has distribution centers in Robbinsville, NJ; Sante Fe Springs, CA; Douglass, GA and Aurora, CO.