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Wirtz Corp. plans liquor distribution hub in Cicero

Updated: May 12, 2011 3:01PM

About half of the old Sportsman’s Park racetrack site in Cicero is expected to become a liquor distribution center employing several hundred people.

Wirtz Corp., whose operations include the liquor wholesaler Wirtz Beverage, said Thursday it will build a 600,000-square-foot distribution center on the property, 3301 S. Laramie. The plan is to have it open in the middle of 2012.

Cicero town spokesman Ray Hanania said Wirtz is buying 33 acres from the municipality for $6.5 million. He said the deal is scheduled for a vote at a town board meeting Tuesday.

Wirtz said the facility will let it consolidate operations currently in Schaumburg, Wood Dale, Bensenville and Elk Grove Village. The Wirtz corporate headquarters will remain at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive.

Hanania said Cicero bought the former track in 2003 for $16 million. The other half of the property remains for sale, he said.

He said terms of the sale call for Wirtz to fund an outdoor community ice rink on a park across the street from the property.

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