Combe Lab construction

Site work is ongoing on a $3.6 million addition at the Combe Laboratories plant in west Rantoul.

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RANTOUL — Combe Laboratories will build a 50,000-square-foot addition to its factory site in west Rantoul.

Steve Thomas, vice president and plant manager, said the $3.6 million addition at 200 Shelhouse Road in the industrial park will be for more storage.

“We’re a very solid company, and we needed some more space,” Thomas said.

He said the addition is not expected to result in the immediate addition of employees, although he said if production increases, the company could add more workers.

Thomas said the additional warehouse will allow the company, which employs a little more than 100 in Rantoul, to expand production “a little” in the main building.

Combe Laboratories makes personal-care products.

“‘We’re the more personal, personal care company,’ is our motto,” Thomas said. “We’re a family-owned company.”

The company was among the facilities that added hand sanitizer gel and wet wipes to its product line last year during the pandemic, but has phased out most of that production.

“We just did it to kind of help out,” Thomas said. “We don’t have much of that production (now) because everybody’s starting to make it.”

The company’s primary products are Vagisil feminine products, Sea-Bond denture adhesive, Aqua Velva aftershave, Lectric Shave pre-shave and Grecian Formula hair-coloring product.

Thomas said Brylcreem hair cream and Just for Men hair-coloring product, formerly made in Rantoul, are now made in Puerto Rico.

Combe Laboratories began production in a 50,000-square-foot facility in Rantoul in 1974. A 50,000-square-foot warehouse was added in 1981.

Tyler Adkins, project manager for Broeren Russo Builders, Champaign, said site work for the addition has begun. He said site prep for the foundation will begin next week.

A detention pond has been dug.

Adkins said the new warehouse will include nine loading docks.

“We’re working on getting the foundations completed here in the next month,” Adkins said. “By spring hopefully we’ll be ready to pour concrete.”

A September completion date has been targeted.

Combe was founded in 1949. Its headquarters is in White Plains, N.Y.

Additional building permits

Building permits in Rantoul have also been issued for six mobile home installations totaling $156,000 at Heritage Meadows and Maplewood Estates in east Rantoul, and $165,000 for renovations to a building at 417 S. Century Boulevard to accommodate a hair salon and spa.

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