Industry News

Wirtz Beverage Announces New Training and Distribution Facility

Wirtz Beverage Illinois, a leading distributor of the world's premium wine and spirits brands, announced plans today for a 600,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution center in Cicero, IL. Included in the plans are 100,000 square-feet of office and conference center space. The facility would serve as the wholesaler's Illinois hub for sales, wine and spirits distribution and training programs.  Wirtz Beverage Illinois employs 1,000 people in the state and the distributors comprising Wirtz Beverage Group employ more than 3,000 nationally.

   "We looked at a number of sites in the Chicago area in a diverse group of communities and Cicero came out on top for a variety of reasons; ultimately, this site was the best fit in terms of civic leadership, location, accessibility and cost," said Julian Burzynski, SVP of Wirtz Beverage Illinois.  "We hope to receive the approval of the Town of Cicero and the State of Illinois for this important project and we are grateful for the leadership exhibited by Larry Dominick and his team."

The $70 million facility would sit on more than 35 acres and would include significant technological advancements, office space, training facilities, and warehouse space.   It would complement the company's current facilities in Rockford, Peoria and Belleville.  In 2009, WBI distributed wine and spirit products to more than 17,000 on and off premise accounts statewide and its annual sales were approximately $850 million.  Wirtz Beverage recently was named the Illinois distributor for Bacardi USA and so those figures are projected to climb in the months and years ahead.

"We understand that as a premier wholesaler in the country, we are held to a higher standard.  From our sales, marketing and training programs to our facilities, equipment and infrastructure, we will continue to make the investments necessary to maintain and enhance our standing in the industry," explained Rocky Wirtz, President of Wirtz Beverage Group.

The proposal was well received in Cicero.

"At a time when the real estate industry is distressed, Cicero continues to attract development and expansion that benefits our community and the region. I am thrilled to bring this to the Town Board and the people for their approval. It's a win-win for everyone and step forward in our continuing efforts to strengthen Cicero economically. It reinforces our commitment to our residents to bring in new businesses and to build on our community programming," said Cicero Town President Larry Dominick.

"They will be relocating a majority of their 1,000 current employees to the new Cicero headquarters, and as they continue to grow, so will the economic impact and opportunities for our community," Dominick added.

In addition to the training center and warehouse, Wirtz Beverage Illinois also has proposed donating to the community a lighted, full-sized outdoor community ice rink—including equipment to maintain and service the facility—and the redevelopment of nearby park property.

If the project is approved, Wirtz Beverage Illinois would transition its offices, training facilities and warehouse operations, presently located in Schaumburg, Wood Dale, Bensenville and Elk Grove Village, to the Cicero facility in 2012.

Wirtz Beverage Illinois is a member of the Wirtz Corporation family of companies. Wirtz Corporation has diversified holdings in real estate, insurance, banking, entertainment and sports, including the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Wirtz Corporation will maintain its corporate headquarters at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

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