Syngenta Seeds LLC seeks to put down roots in Malta, bringing with it about 100 jobs

MALTA – Syngenta Seeds LLC is taking the first steps to put roots down in Malta, and on Aug. 27, representatives from the company presented plans for a 96,000-square-foot development for approval by DeKalb County government, bringing with it about 100 jobs.

Syngenta Seeds requested approval of a Special Use Permit during a virtual public hearing before the DeKalb County Hearing Officer. The permit, if granted by the DeKalb County Board, would allow the company to rezone the land and develop an agribusiness, as well as put up signs on the property.

Syngenta, based in Switzerland, is a global agriculture company that produces crop protection and seed products and employs more than 28,000 people, according to city documents. Syngenta’s global and North American seeds headquarters is located in Downers Grove. They also have a digital and technology hub in downtown Chicago.

During the virtual public hearing, Project Architect Terri Ulrick described the proposed Malta campus as “an environment that will showcase the innovative products Syngenta’s creating, but also doing it in a way that is inviting and collaborative, really wanting to grow the relationship with their customers.”

“The buildings are orientated in such a way encompassing a courtyard that’s going to be used as part of that customer experience, showcasing some of the plants Syngenta creates,” she said. “The building is surrounded by research fields, so it will be nestled in fields of corn.”

Syngenta plans to build a 96,000-square-foot campus, which will include office space, a customer experience center, laboratories, greenhouses and some warehousing. Once completed, the campus will employ between 80 to 120 full-time employees.

When the Illinois Department of Public Health allows gatherings again after the COVID-19 pandemic, Syngenta plans to host an annual event to showcase their crops that will bring about 200 farmers, growers and ag industry personnel to Malta in late August.

When completed, the campus will feature a paved parking lot, curbs, landscaping and lighting.

According to a DeKalb County Community Development public notice, Syngenta Seeds LLC has acquired an 88-acre property located on the northeast corner of Illinois State Route 38 and Willrett Road in Malta Township. Syngenta seeks to use a 23.63-acre portion of the property to construct a research and development innovation and customer experience center.

The hearing officer will give a recommendation to the Planning and Zoning Committee of the DeKalb County Board at its Sept. 23 meeting. The committee will present its recommendation to the DeKalb County Board at its Oct. 21 meeting for a vote.

If the permit is granted, Syngenta will finalize the campus design in late fall or early winter and construction will begin in spring 2021.

Syngenta also is working to complete a drainage tile survey, soil erosion and sediment control plan, stormwater management plan and siting of a septic system. A site development permit and building permit will be obtained and the Illinois Department of Transportation has approved the project’s traffic impact assessment.

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