Beer distributor relocating to Carbondale

By Gus Bode

The construction of a new Anhueser-Busch distribution center at the Bicentennial Industrial Park will begin as soon as possible

The construction of a new Anhueser-Busch distribution center at the Bicentennial Industrial Park will begin as soon as possible, city officials said, making Carbondale the hub for beer distribution throughout deep Southern Illinois.

Venegoni Horrell Distributing Inc. will construct the distribution center on the northwest corner of the Industrial Park, bordered to the west by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad tracks and in the north by Dillinger Road.

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“It [will be] an impressive building and presence at the corner as you come into the industrial park,” City Manager Jeff Doherty said.

Venegoni will transfer 35 jobs from its current distribution center at 550 N. 19th St., Murphysboro, to the new site.

John Linehan, director of the Carbondale Business Development Corp., said Venegoni plans to build a 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot climate-controlled building that will be a center for beer distribution throughout Southern Illinois.

The building is expected to be completed on Jan. 1, 2003.

Dennis Kortkamp, president of Venegoni, did not return repeated Daily Egyptian phone calls.

The Carbondale City Council unanimously approved the sale of the 7 1/2 acres of city land to Venegoni for $1 on Tuesday, July 23. The land usually sells for $6,000 an acre.

Doherty said it is not unusual for cities to give land to businesses as an incentive.

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“It’s always a good thing to increase the tax base and [bring in] jobs,” Doherty said.

Councilman Brad Cole said this parcel of land has been available for many years but has gone undeveloped.

“The whole idea of the industrial park is for the city to set aside land for businesses to come,” Cole said.

Doherty said Venegoni approached the city in the spring to look into building the new distribution center in Carbondale. The city worked with Venegoni and the Carbondale Business Development Corp. to work out a deal that satisfied all parties.

Venegoni will benefit from the location of the new property within Carbondale’s Enterprise Zone. Enterprise Zone incentives include 100-percent abatement of real estate taxes for five years and 50-percent abatement for the following five years; a sales tax deduction for building materials that will be permanently part of the building; and waiving construction permit fees.

The Bicentennial Industrial Park is a 180-acre tract on the north side of Carbondale. Half the land is owned by the city and the other half by the Carbondale Business Development Corp. The city has contracted with the Carbondale Business Development Corp. to market the park to businesses.

Reporter Phil Beckman can be reached at

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