By Robert Carr, Contributing Writer
CICERO—Wirtz Beverage has finally finished its $80 million office and industrial property on the site of the infamous Sportsman’s Park horse racetrack here.
The company, also owners of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, built a 605,000-sq.-ft.-corporate headquarters at 3333 South Laramie Avenue. The new state-of-the-art facility, also known as WBI Center, consolidates four Wirtz Beverage locations into one hub for sales, distribution and training programs.
Ware Malcomb provided architectural design and interior design services and Ryan Cos. US Inc. was the general contractor.
The 500,000-sq.-ft.-warehouse contains high bay robotic picking and one of the largest temperature-controlled wine storage components in the country.
The racetrack, and its nearby cousin Hawthorne horse track, was operated by mob figures aligned with Al Capone. Cicero bought the 80-acre Sportsman’s track for $16 million in 2002, and the land went through a few failed redevelopment plans by the DiMucci Cos. and the John Buck Co.