CHICAGO (Jan. 15)—U.S. Zinc closed its Chicago zinc oxide plant after 17 years of ownership. Formerly called Midwest Zinc, the facility had become the "victim" of neighborhood redevelopment aimed at transforming a former industrial area of the city into a largely commercial and residential zone, U.S. Zinc said. Houston-based U.S. Zinc has increased capacity at its Millington and Clarksville, Tenn., and Hillsboro, Ill., plants to ensure uninterrupted service to customers, the company said. "It´s an end to an amazing era for the company," said Jeff Palmer, Midwest Zinc plant manager, ". . . but, unfortunately, it is hard to stop the building progress happening in the area." No word was given on whether the site will be sold.