Nucor

The Nucor Steel plant in Bourbonnais has begun a $180 million expansion that will require an additional 75 workers once completed. The company already has entered into contracts for $65 million of new equipment.

With the recent news of the large expansion at CSL Behring, some might have forgotten about the $180-million expansion taking place at Nucor Steel in Bourbonnais.

We shouldn’t.

Nucor Steel Kankakee vice president and general manager Johnny Jacobs reported at the most recent Economic Alliance of Kankakee County meeting the company already has entered into contracts for $65 million of new equipment.

Within the past six weeks, the company has hired 14 new workers. Jacobs said he’s anticipating another 50 workers will be hired within the next several months.

The plant manager said it is his goal to have the site ready for the new equipment within 2019.

The expansion is expected to take two years to complete. When the expansion was announced in late 2017, Jacobs said the plant would likely expand its 475-member workforce by as many as 75 employees.

The expansion is for increased production of its Merchant Bar Quality product. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company said the new mill will have the capacity to produce a half-million tons of steel annually.

Merchant Bar products are steel products made to specific sizes requested by the buyer. This steel typically is used for flooring, roof joists, walkways, railings and concrete forms.

Nucor uses 100 percent recycled steel scrap to manufacture its products.

• • •

The Cinemark Movies 10 property at Northfield Square mall in Bradley recently was sold to the William Viering Trust for $3.68 million.

The 10-screen location will continue to be operated by Plano, Texas-based Movies 10.

Cinemark operates 533 theaters and 5,959 screens in the U.S.

The transaction was recorded April 4 at the Kankakee County Recorder of Deeds.

Namdar, the owner of the mall, has been trying to sell the anchor sites in an effort to raise capital. Mall general manager Conrad Raczkowski said some minor improvements were made to the location prior to the sale.

Regarding the now-vacant 107,000-square-foot Sears store, Raczkowski said some interest has been shown, but that has not led to anything further.

• • •

There is some good news for Northfield Square mall.

Candy and Cake, a locally-owned bakery operated by Christeen Botros, of Bourbonnais, is anticipated to open on May 1 in the location which previously was Hershey’s Ice Cream shop.

Botros and her staff will produce cupcakes, cheesecakes, muffins, sandwiches, cookies as well as items for birthday parties. Coffee and other drinks also will be sold.

The location will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The owner is planning a May 11 grand opening event.

What sets her baked goods apart is the frosting and filling. These toppings and fillings are flavored with customers’ favorite candies.

Botros said there is such a need for quick-and-easy food service at the mall. She began to seriously consider the mall early this year. Previously, she had been providing baked goods out of her home. She also has sold her products at the Kankakee Farmers’ Market.

She noted the mall management has been extremely helpful in getting this deal put in place. She also is considering a delivery service, but that still is being explored.

The Daily Journal’s Lee Provost writes about local business rumors, comings and goings and other notes of interest. Anyone with information to share should contact Provost at lprovost@daily-journal.com or 815-937-3364.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at lprovost@daily-journal.com.