Navistar shuttering Melrose Park technical center, selling land to developer

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Updated Jan 14, 2021
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Navistar International Corporation on Wednesday said it plans to sell its Melrose Park, Illinois, facility and expects to cease operations at the campus by November.

The property has been sold to a developer who plans to redevelop the 80-acre parcel into an industrial business park.

The facility previously manufactured Navistar’s now-defunct 9- and 10-liter N-Series engines, but has served mostly as a testing facility and technical center since 2017. The company’s 12.4-liter A26 on-highway engine is manufactured in Huntsville, Alabama, where the company less than a year ago broke ground on a $125 million expansion.

“Given changes at Navistar and in the industry, it no longer makes sense to maintain a facility of that size,” Navistar President of Operations Phil Christman said. “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 estimated half of the facility’s current workforce will be transferred to other facilities.

“The hardest decision we can make is to part with dedicated colleagues at a property that has been integral to our company’s history,” said Persio Lisboa, Navistar president and CEO, adding he was confident the sale of the property “will spur a sizeable reinvestment in the community, resulting in new jobs and economic opportunity.”

Navistar estimated redevelopment of the site could more than double property tax revenue over current levels, and will lead to more local jobs than Navistar’s current operations provide.