Incentives and grants could lead to 250 new jobs within three years
At a special Village of Gurnee meeting on September 16th, AKHAN Semiconductor, a company that is a pioneer in diamond semiconductor technology, announced intentions to relocate to the Gurnee area and invest at least $15 million into a new Gurnee operation along with creating 80 new jobs that could turn out being 250 within three years. AKHAN Semiconductor, a 2012 spin-off of AKHAN Technologies, is currently considering the 120,000 S.F. building west of the Tri-State Tollway which is currently occupied by Kenall Manufacturing which is planning a move to larger facilities in Kenosha.
Under an agreement with the State of Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity the company would get credits worth an estimated $3 million over a ten year span against future state income tax obligations. With local taxing bodies approval, AKHAN Semiconductor would gain an additional $2.3 million in local tax incentives over a five year period. Since local taxing bodies would be effected by the proposed tax credits, under State statutes, those taxing bodies were invited to attend the special meeting and ask questions following the presentation. They included the Gurnee Economic Development Committee, Gurnee Village Board, Woodland School District 50, Warren Township High School District 121, the Gurnee Park District, and Warren Township. Community members were also invited to participate in the question and answer period.
Gurnee holds special meeting to seek support
Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik called the special meeting to order at 5:40pm and asked for a roll call of those officials in attendance. Once that was completed, Mr. Adam Khan, the company’s founder who grew up in Gurnee and graduated from Warren High School, made his presentation. The movie screen was located in an odd position where only about half of the audience could see it clearly so it is not included in the following video. However, Mr Khan explained his company’s plans quite clearly and even passed around several samples of one of the company’s products for the audience to see the type of product that they manufacture.
Mayor Kovarik then made a presentation but the same issue prevented many of us from viewing her power point presentation on the screen. The Mayor read from notes what we were unable to observe visually. The Mayor also introduced State Senator Melinda Bush and Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor who both made statements of support following the Mayors.
Most of the seats in the Village Hall were reserved for those officials who had been specifically invited to listen and ask questions. There was, however, a decent turnout of community residents who were also invited to participate in the Q&A that followed the presentations. You can watch the entire 1-hour meeting in the following unedited video. I was told I could expect to receive the power point presentation(s) and when I have a copy of them, I will add additional screen shots of some of the highlights.
About AKHAN Semiconductor
AKHAN Semiconductor is the global leader in diamond semiconductor technology. Using diamond lattice technology, the company focuses on the commercial use of diamond-based electronic devices and is developing a product line that will serve a number of high-tech computers and operations such as aviation, satellites, radar communication and next-generation telecommunication infrastructure. Founded by Adam Khan as a wholly owned subsidiary of AKHAN Technologies, Inc., the company launched its Miraj Diamond™ Platform, a breakthrough energy-efficient semiconductor technology developed at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials, in 2012. AKHAN Semiconductor is the first company to commercialize its work after completing Argonne’s incubation process and, if relocated to Gurnee, would allow the Village to become home to the first commercial diamond semiconductor production site in the world. In addition to creating 80 new jobs, AKHAN Semiconductor will also invest at least $15 million in the Gurnee facility, which will include a state-of-the-art space for future innovators to bring their ideas to life.
Local incentives valued at $2.3 million
The total value of the Village’s performance-based rebate will be $1.5 million over the course of five years. Lake County will consider a similar agreement worth $500,000 as well as a partial property tax relief award. Other local taxing bodies, including School Districts 50 and 121, Gurnee Park District and Warren Township, have been asked to also approve partial property tax abatements for a period of up to five years. The entire local incentives package, if approved, would be worth roughly $2.3 million.
Why Gurnee was selected
The Village was chosen as the home for the new headquarters following extensive review of alternative sites and competitive proposals from locations in other states. However, AKHAN Semiconductor felt that the offering by the State of Illinois’ Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity coupled with strong interest from the Village and other local bodies made an agreement easy to reach. Khan cited Gurnee’s well-educated workforce, strong existing commercial base and close proximity to both a major metropolitan area and a number of world-class educational and research institutions as factors in the decision. Khan also grew up in Gurnee and appreciates the quality of life residents enjoy including access to excellent schools, strong local amenities and world-class shopping and entertainment.
You can also read and add comments on our Facebook page.