The Crusader Newspaper Group

Steel City may be coming back

Crusader staff report

Two weeks after inking a major deal that would bring 500 jobs to Gary, city officials are set to vote on another deal that could bring more jobs and provide a major boost in reviving the city’s beleaguered steel industry.

It’s another sign of economic growth in Gary as multi-million dollar companies continue to view the city as an ideal place to relocate their businesses, bringing hundreds of jobs with them.

The latest business, Alliance Steel Corp., an Illinois steel company, wants to relocate its suburban Chicago plant to Gary and has submitted a plan to Gary’s Redevelopment Commission.

On Wednesday, August 2, officials are expected to vote on Alliance Steel’s $925,000 bid for 25 acres of land for construction of a new 250,000-square-foot production facility that could bring 100 new jobs to Gary. The new production facility could produce 250,000 tons of steel annually.

Alliance Steel CEO Andrew Gross wrote in the proposal that another company’s trucking operation would also likely relocate to Gary along with Alliance.

Gary’s Planning and Redevelopment Director Joseph Van Dyk stated the Alliance move would be an ideal fit for the area because it’s already zoned for heavy manufacturing.

Gross said the $35 million relocation would be financed through corporate cash, bank loans and a combination of federal, state and local incentives. Bo Kemp, executive director of the Gary Economic Development Corp, said in an Associated Press report, no local incentives have been awarded yet.

Based on its website, Alliance Steel was started in 1999 as an off-shoot of its sister company, Alliance Steel Processing, which has provided outside processing services to the steel industry for the past 25 years. Over the past 10 years, Alliance Steel has evolved into a full-scale steel service center with strong sales and healthy relationships with diverse suppliers. The company also has offices in Atlanta.

The new steel production facility in Gary will be built by Chester Inc. The company’s CEO, Pete Peuquet, said development could begin in October 2017 and be completed by the end of 2018.

The bid was in response to the redevelopment commission’s request for proposals for nearly 80 acres of land. The commission wanted about $35,000 per acre. Alliance is offering $37,000 per acre for 25 acres.

The offer is good news to Gary officials who have struggled in recent years to revive the city’s economy by bringing back business and jobs.

Earlier this month, HMD Trucking, a growing Chicago-area business, announced plans to relocate to Gary and build a new facility in an unprecedented deal with the city that will require them to hire locals to fill 500 jobs.

HMD plans to build the new facility at 1350 Texas Street, nearly three miles or six minutes from City Hall. One of the fastest growing independent trucking companies in the Chicago area, the 19-year-old business plans to expand its operations to the city. HMD is seeking truck drivers and administrative employees to staff its new facility.


As part of the negotiations, the city secured guarantees from HMD Trucking that Gary residents must be the first hired at the new facility. HMD has agreed to file annual reports that will include information on the residential status of every new employee and they must report the cause for laying off or terminating an employee.

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