McLaughlin Body settles in Rock Island with $10-million deal

ROCK ISLAND - A $10-million public-private partnership will allow McLaughlin Body Company to consolidate its manufacturing in the former Farmall plant.

It's teaming with Central States Development Partners to use New Market Tax Credits.

"Without that, we wouldn't have done this," said Robert Anderson, McGlaughlin's president, on Wednesday, October 24.  "And so, we needed that support."

After leasing space for many years, it's going to to buy about a quarter of the massive plant.  Renovations and improvements will follow, guided by Russell Construction.

When added to deals with Hill and Valley Bakery and MetroLINK, it represents more than $54 million in new investment on the property since 2014.

"At the end of the day, the community is the one who wins," said Brian Hollenback, Central States Development Partners.  "We have an employer who's committed to purchasing the property, and the jobs are retained."

The century-old company builds cabs for farm, construction and mining equipment.  It plans to add about 50 jobs, which will bring its workforce over 200.

Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms praised the program for revitalizing a once-vacant eyesore.

"It continues to thrive," he said.  "There is more room to grow."

While the deal makes it possible for McLaughlin Body to grow locally, it's also away to ignite a new era of manufacturing in the Quad Cities.

"With this New Market Tax Credit Program, there's a real community benefit," Anderson concluded.

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