LOVES PARK — Local leaders gathered Friday to celebrate the grand opening of a business that was vital in Loves Park’s recruitment of Costco.
Cream City Scale, a company that sells, calibrates and services scales for low- to heavy-capacity weighing, unveiled its new location at 4300 N. Bell School Road with a ribbon-cutting with both the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and Parks Chamber of Commerce.
The business agreed to a $1.7 million land swap with the city of Loves Park, which wanted the company to move because its previous location on Interstate Boulevard blocked what will be an entry road to Costco and the wholesale retailer’s main entrance. The money compensated Cream City for selling its land and covered its moving and building costs at the new location.
Jay Garnhart, CEO of Cream City, was not keen on moving but eventually determined it’s what is best for the community, he said.
“I really liked where I was at, but big business needed me to leave so big business could get in there,” he said. “So this is really a perfect spot for me.”
Cream City’s decision to move was crucial to Loves Park’s ability to land Costco, said Mayor Greg Jury. The retailer is expected to bring 300 jobs to the region and provide property tax revenue for Rockford Public Schools, Winnebago County and other local governments and sales tax revenue for Loves Park, Jury said previously.
“I tell everybody that Costco wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Cream City Scale,” Jury said. “When you’re pushing your cart through Costco, think of Cream City Scale.”
Cream City employs 23 people locally and four at a different location in Madison, Wisconsin. The business was able to operate at full capacity throughout the moving process.
Cream City is not the only business to receive incentives from the city in order to lure Costco. City officials also approved up to $11 million worth of tax rebates to bring the retailer and other businesses to the East Riverside Boulevard corridor.
The city also recently approved about $4.3 million in financial incentives to facilitate Siffron’s construction of a $20 million warehouse and distribution center near East Riverside Boulevard and Interstate 90, according to city documents. Developer Becknell Industrial will receive 100% of new property tax revenue generated by the building from 2021 through 2025 and 80% of the new revenue from 2026 through 2030, up to just over $4.3 million.