Navistar International Corporation announced it plans to sell its Melrose Park, Ill., facility to a developer who has an actionable plan to redevelop the parcel into a state-of-the-art industrial business park.
Navistar expects to cease operations at the Melrose Park campus by November 2021. The company estimates half of the facility’s current workforce will be transferred to other facilities.
The property sale is part of Navistar’s continued adaptation to rapid changes in the industry as well as its own operations. Engine manufacturing is no longer present at the facility and Navistar’s need for engine testing has significantly decreased due to reductions in the company’s manufacturing of engines and the trucking industry’s increasing interest in alternative fuel drivetrains, the company says.
“Given changes at Navistar and in the industry, it no longer makes sense to maintain a facility of that size,” says Phil Christman, Navistar president of operations. “Further investment in the Melrose Park property would divert substantial resources away from investments in new technologies and products. While this decision is difficult, it is necessary to best position Navistar for the future and to unlock economic growth for the Melrose Park community.”
Navistar believes the site’s comprehensive redevelopment will more than double property tax revenue for local governments from current levels, and that the redeveloped site will lead to substantially more local jobs than Navistar’s current operations provide.
“The hardest decision we can make is to part with dedicated colleagues at a property that has been integral to our company’s history,” says Persio Lisboa, Navistar president and CEO. “We’re confident the sale of the Melrose Park property will spur a sizeable reinvestment in the community, resulting in new jobs and economic opportunity.”
The company will take an approximate $85 million charge as a result of the exit from the facility, including approximately $40 million of cash-related charges.
Navistar expects the sale agreement and subsequent divesture of the Melrose Park property to be completed by the end of 2021.