The parking lot at the former Maytag plant in Galesburg will be in use again this week. BNSF Logistics has agreed to lease the 50-acre property at 1801 Monmouth Blvd. from its owner, Industrial Realty Group, LLC.
BNSF Logistics will use the site to store wind turbine blades that are in transit to wind farms across the country. The logistics company will organize how the blades will reach the facility -- whether by truck or rail -- and what routes the blades will take to their destinations.
BNSF Logistics is a subsidiary of BNSF Railroad.
The company plans to hire up to 5 new employees to work at the site, mainly in security and maintenance.
The former Maytag plant had been shuttered and abandoned since the appliance company left Galesburg in 2004 and moved production to Mexico. Fences and concrete barricades were installed to prevent people from entering the plant.
Ken Springer, President of the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development, said he looks forward to activity resuming at the site.
"No longer will people drive by the former Maytag plant and just see an empty parking lot with weeds growing up through the cracks. They're going to see activity happening on that site, and that's important," Springer said.
Springer said the city will benefit economically as well. He said an increase in truck traffic might mean more vehicles filling up at gas stations, drivers stopping for lunch at restaurants in town, and overnight stays at hotels.
Springer didn't release many details of the lease, only saying that it was "multiyear." He said the Partnership reached out to BNSF Logistics around six weeks ago to talk about the building.