New EV Gigafactory Announced Near Kankakee

Photo from plant announcement via Audacy

The construction of a new electric vehicle (EV) battery plant has been announced for the city of Manteno near Kankakee. Located at 333 S Spruce Street near I-57, the 150-acre site sits just south of the proposed site for the expanded Peotone Airport we covered recently. The plant was announced as a collaboration between the State of Illinois and Chinese battery maker Gotion Hight-Tech.

Site context plan for plant via Google Maps

Located just 50-miles south of Chicago, the new $2 billion gigafactory is the largest investment in EV technology in the state’s history. The new plant would complement the company’s recently announced Michigan facility which will make the individual components assembled into battery packs in Manteno. Illinois already has multiple EV assembly plants and is trying to lure more, including to replace the closed Belvidere plant, hoping to use this as an incentive as well.

Overhead view of Kmart distribution center via Transformco Properties

Plans for the plant have been in motion for over two-years now, with the final site selected being relatively empty as it was once a Kmart distribution center. Images shown at the announcement reveal that the manufacturer will utilize most of the existing structure, including for a new job training center. The development adds to a growth in investments in the Midwest, including Intel’s $20 billion semiconductor plant near Columbus Ohio.

Current view of plant via Google Maps

The plant however will receive financial incentives from the state totalling $536 million, the largest portion of this will be $213 million in payroll tax credits spread across 30-years. This will be joined by $125 million in capital funds and other credits. These do require Gotion to create 2,600 full-time jobs which pay at least 120-percent of the average wage for similar positions, as well as invest $1.9 billion locally over time.

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5 Comments on "New EV Gigafactory Announced Near Kankakee"

  1. Steve River North | September 20, 2023 at 10:06 am | Reply

    2600 jobs in a very small rural town, so most people will have to drive a car to work there. -scratches head-

    Now, do you all see why affordable housing needs parking spots???

    • You’re right, Chicago needs minimum parking requirements in case we ever shrink down to a town of 9,200.

      You live in River North, a neighborhood where new parking has to be either multi-level, underground, or both. Asking for “affordable parking” there is like asking for an affordable Ferrari, it necessarily drives up the cost of housing and makes it unaffordable.

  2. We perpetuate car dependency by continuing to build in areas that can only be accessed by car. In other countries, industrial parks are still accessible by public transit and are located outside of city centers where people wouldn’t want them. This would allow smaller towns to have things like this and still allow everyone to have access to these jobs without the need to have a car. It’s good that smaller towns can have this. Things like this should also be within reach of people who don’t have thousands of dollars each year it takes to maintain a car.

  3. Anyone think that the State of Illinois also needs to prioritize extending the Metra Electric District to Kankakee in conjunction with this project?

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