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Ventus Tech purchases farmland property in DeKalb's south side for $40 million

The farmland was privately owned, and the sale marks another steps in ongoing months-long efforts by city leaders to entice significant industry to the ChicagoWest Business Center, along Route 23 and south of Gurler Road.
The farmland was privately owned, and the sale marks another steps in ongoing months-long efforts by city leaders to entice significant industry to the ChicagoWest Business Center, along Route 23 and south of Gurler Road.

DeKALB - Ventus Tech Services has purchased farmland on DeKalb's south side for over $40 million, according to property sales records from March 26 through March 30.

Ventus Tech, the pseudonym for a tech company looking to bring in a data center to 505 acres of property at Gurler and Crego Roads in DeKalb, is one vote away from securing a development agreement with the city council, after the first round vote passed unanimously Monday. The final vote is set for April 27.

"What's proposed is a very dramatic and transformative development which will impact generations," said City Manager Bill Nicklas."

The farmland was privately owned, and the sale marks another steps in ongoing months-long efforts by city leaders to entice significant industry to the ChicagoWest Business Center, along Route 23 and south of Gurler Road. In January, Ferrara Candy Company announced they would build on the site, bringing 1,000 jobs and substantial tax revenue to the city by 2021.

Ventus would invest $800 million into a 970,000-square-foot space, which would be privy to a 20-year, 55% property tax abatement plan, already approved by the council, with a stipulation of 50 tech jobs with a starting wage of $38.50 an hour, documents show.

Nicklas said the data center would also require significant water and electricity, which would bring more revenue to the city.

"When fully energized, this company's monthly kilowatt usage will exceed the top tier of the city's schedule by a lot," Nicklas said. "[Ventus] also has a very large need for water to provide cooling for its literally acres of servers that will be using energy all the time. They'll be recycling the water."

The project will include a looped public water main system to benefit both Ferrara and Ventus, Nicklas said, and other people to the west of Route 23. The Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District is also working on a sanitary sewer layout which will be gravity-run, not a forced water main, Nicklas said.

Nicklas said the center's main entrance will be just south of where Peace and Gurler roads connect, with a secure entrance requiring identification. Landscape buffers will be to the east, south and west to provide separation and setback from adjacent properties across from Route 23 and Gurler to allow for continues truck traffic.

"This allows for through movements," he said. "I'm happy to say that the widening of the road will be to the east so long-standing residential properties on the west side will see no change in their property."

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