Fort Gillem is a United States Army military base located in the City of Forest Park. Founded in 1941, it was a satellite installation of nearby Fort McPherson. At full operation, the base housed many different supply and support units, including the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory and the 3rd MP Group (CID), both units of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command. It employed 456 active duty personnel, 1,663 Army reservist, and 1,667 civilians. In 1973, its 1,465 acres (5.93 km) were annexed into the city. The fort was named in the memory of Lieutenant General Alvan Cullom Gillem.
Base closure and redevelopment
On May 13, 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommended that Fort Gillem, along with Fort McPherson and the Navy Supply Corps School be closed. An exit ceremony was held at Fort Gillem on June 3, 2011, and First Army troops stationed there were transferred to the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois. The Criminal Investigations Division Crime Lab, a forensic crime laboratory, remains open on a 250-acre enclave retained by the Army.
In 2012, after five years of negotiations with the Army, the City of Forest Park purchased 1,170 acres comprising most of the former Fort Gillem from the Army for $30 million, and ownership was transferred to the Forest Park/Fort Gillem Implementation Local Redevelopment Authority (ILRA). Initially, discussions proposed mixed-use development on the property, but following the housing crash, the focus turned to industrial, manufacturing, distribution, warehouse and business park development with 7 million square feet of space. The development of the land is expected to take 10 years.
See the attached document for the Master Plan development for Fort Gillem
Fort Gillem Master Plan
See the attached document for Project Information for Fort Gillem
Fort Gillem Project Information
In early 2014, the city formed the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to replace the ILRA and complete the deal between the city and the Army. On May 2, 2014 officials from the city and the Department of Defense held a ceremony at Fort Gillem to commemorate the impending move.
On June 10, 2014, the city closed a deal with Kroger, one of the world’s largest food retailers, to build a distribution center on about 300 acres of Fort Gillem. Kroger wasted no time in preparing for its $250 million distribution center, which became operational in September 2015. The facility is expected to create 120 new skilled jobs. It is hoped that Kroger’s job opportunities will attract families and other businesses to the city. It is further hoped that the base redevelopment could potentially transform the city into a logistics and transportation hub for the metropolitan area. Other potential investors are now considering bidding on the remaining 500 acres of Fort Gillem. Long-term, the city is looking at 2,500 to 3,000 new jobs and more than doubling the tax base for the city.
For more detailed information on what is now the Gillem Logistics Center, see the attached document: Gillem Logistics Center.