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  • Posted: October 25, 2018

    Choose DuPage and PowerForward DuPage Hosted Solar Energy Conference

    Choose DuPage and PowerForward DuPage were pleased to host the DuPage County Solar Energy Conference on Thursday, October 25, welcoming over 100 registered attendees. The event was co-sponsored by Choose DuPage, PowerForward DuPage and DuPage County.

     

    The featured speakers, Lisa Albrecht of the Illinois Solar Energy Association and owner of All Bright Solar; Scott Vogt, Vice President, Energy Acquisition for ComEd; and Brian Haug, Director of Energy Solutions, Continental Electrical Construction Company, provided an extensive and high-level overview of the solar market and a review of the recent FEJA legislation.

     

    In addition, case studies and examples of how area businesses are adopting sustainability policies, implementing energy efficiency programs and generating their own renewable energy source through rooftop solar installations were presented and discussed. Special thanks to ComEd and the River Prairie Group Chapter of the Sierra Club for their contributions to today’s forum. We are planning another event in the spring of 2019!

     

    If you missed the event, you can download the presentation as well as access the latest incentive information available from ComEd here:

     

    Solar Energy Conference PPT

     

    2018 ComEd Energy Efficiency Program

     

    A Win for IL Municipalities


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  • Posted: October 24, 2018

    Green Bay Packaging Expands Operations In Illinois

    Green Bay Packaging (GBP) is set to break ground for the construction of a new 170,000 square foot complex. Downers Grove was chosen as a central location to serve the Chicagoland area and allow for future growth of the business. 

     

    With over 85 years of packaging experience, Green Bay Packaging is more excited than ever to add additional capacity to their growing footprint. Executive Vice President, Bryan Hollenback states, "Green Bay Packaging follows the needs of their customers and we have seen a strong increase in demand in the Chicago area. We are proud to extend our company's service offerings, and our dedicated team of highly experienced professionals are ready to fullfill this demand." 

     

    "With this expansion, we are strengthening our operations in the Chicago area," explained Will Kress, President and CEO of Green Bay Packaging. "This allows us to respond more quickly to changes in market demand and supply high quality products to our customers."

     

    The Chiago Distribution Center's new plant in Downers Grove, IL will be a modern state-of-the-art building that will house a high-tech design department as well as expand warehouse capabilities.

     

    "When we began looking for a new home for Green Bay Packaging's Chicago Division, Downers Grove made a lot of sense because its central location allows us to efficiently service customers across the entire Chicagoland area." said Kevin Shields, Vice President and General Manager of the Chicago Division. 

     

    "We are absolutely thrilled that Green Bay Packaging has chosen Downers Grove in which to build their new 170,000 square foot facility," said Mayor Martin Tully. "Founded in 1933, Green Bay Packaging is a company with a proud heritage that we warmly welcome and are honored to have join our community,"

     

    About Green Bay Packaging Inc.

    Started in 1933, Green Bay Packaging Inc. is a family-owned, vertically integrated company consisting of corrugated container plants, folding cartons, recycled and virgin linerboard mills, pressure-sensitive label rollstock, specialty converting operations, timberlands, and a sawmill facility. Headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., Green Bay Packaging Inc. is dedicated to innovative development of its products and forestry resources, with a focus on quality, sustainability and continuous improvement throughout all of its manufacturing facilities in 14 states. For more information about Green Bay Packaging., visit www.gbp.com


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  • Posted: October 12, 2018

    DuPage County's Business Climate Holds Strong in Third Quarter

    Economic Indicators Report shows thriving healthcare industry; diverse industry growth.

     

    Choose DuPage has released its 2018 Third Quarter Economic Indicators Report proving DuPage County’s sustainable economic health and consistent growth. Data shows DuPage County’s unemployment rates, as well as industrial and office vacancy rates, have all lowered over the past year. The county unemployment rates have dropped from 4.4 percent from the third quarter in 2017 to 3.1 percent, maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in the region. DuPage County’s steady and sustainable growth illustrates its capacity to cultivate new and expanding businesses for long-term growth.

     

    The healthcare and social assistance industries employ more than 75,000 workers in DuPage County—nearly 12 percent of the county’s workforce. The healthcare industry has added more than 14,000 jobs over the last five years and is projected to expand by more than another 1,200 jobs over the next year.

     

     

    2018 Third Quarter Report Highlights:

    • DuPage County continues to maintain the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 3.1 percent - down more than one percent during this same time last year from 4.4 percent. The county's unemployment rate is lower than both the State of Illinois (4.2 percent) and the United States (3.9 percent).
    • Since 2017-Q3, industrial vacacy rates decreased from 5.2 percent to 4 percent; while the office vacancy rate dropped from 16.6 to 14.7 percent.
    • The fastest growing industry in DuPage County continues to be the healthcare and social assistance sectors, expanding at an average rate of 4 percent each year over the past five consecutive years.

     

    “DuPage’s economic indicators show continued development throughout the county,” said John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage. “We’re seeing tremendous growth in the healthcare sector, including a variety of diverse industries and employers offering a number of high-paying job opportunities.” 

     

    DuPage County is home to nearly 75,000 business taking advantage of the region’s highly educated and skilled workforce.  Together, these companies represent more than 652,000 jobs across a variety of industries operating throughout DuPage.

     

    Download the Choose DuPage 2018 Third Quarter Economic Indicators Report here.


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  • Posted: October 10, 2018

    Global Supplier Alicona Relocates US Headquarters to Hamilton Lakes in DuPage County

    Austrian-based metrology company chooses Itasca property in DuPage County for U.S. HQ

    From left to right: Paul O'Connor, Partner, Hamilton Partners; Stefan Scherer, CEO, Alicona; Helmut Schmidinger, Vice President, Alicona; Ron Lunch, Partner, Hamilton Partners

     

    Alicona, the world’s leading global supplier of optical 3D surface measurement solutions, recently moved their US headquarters to Hamilton Lakes in Itasca from Bartlett, Illinois. The relocation of the multi-million-dollar company will further expand the global footprint of DuPage County. Alicona has been hiring and expanding their product line leading up to their HQ move on September 15 and will bring an initial 10-15 jobs to the area.

     

    Stefan Scherer, CEO of Alicona, selected the Hamilton Lakes site for its high quality and central location. “Hamilton Lakes, and specifically 150 Pierce, provides Alicona with the best combination of quality, visibility and accessibility as we introduce new products in the North American market,” said Scherer. Alicona is based in Austria, with additional subsidiaries in Germany, France, UK, USA, South Korea and Italy. 

     

    Alicona’s new office space at Hamilton Lakes, a Hamilton Partners property, holds approximately 4,000 square feet on the first floor of the Pierce Road building. One of the leading commercial, retail and industrial real estate developers in the Chicagoland area, Hamilton Partners owns 20 properties in DuPage County. The company’s current portfolio includes 53 office, 50 industrial, 10 retail, and 6 residential properties totaling more than 20 million square feet of space in and around the Chicagoland area.

     

    Fostering Foreign-Direct Investment (FDI) by opening world markets to DuPage County has become a top interest for leaders of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance over the past few years.  In addition to domestic company growth and expansions in DuPage, working closely with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Intersect Illinois, DuPage County has also expanded its global footprint with international businesses seeking to relocate or expand operations in the United States. Today, there are roughly 1000 locations of foreign-based firms representing 43 countries are located in DuPage County, providing workforce opportunities throughout the region. 

     

    “Foreign-Direct Investment is a powerful engine for economic growth and prosperity creating jobs and spurring innovation,” said John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage. “Alicona is a world-class global leader in technology and we are excited to welcome them to DuPage. Our market is robust, and we are proud to continue serving as an economic development model for the Chicagoland region community.”

     

    Nearly 75,000 businesses have chosen DuPage County to establish and advance their enterprises. Low taxes and operating costs, strong labor demographics, an educated and skilled workforce, proximity to hotels and dining, as well as shopping, golf and recreational activities are just a few of the benefits DuPage County hopes will attract continued business development for the region. Learn more about Choose DuPage’s efforts to continue furthering economic development issues in the region at www.choosedupage.com.


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  • Posted: October 2, 2018

    Three, maybe five new tenants coming to DuPage Business Center

    Article published by Daily Herald, October 3, 2018, view here. 

     

    After years of setbacks, the DuPage Business Center in West Chicago is getting several new projects that officials say will bring jobs and economic development to the area.

     

    New facilities for Suncast Corp.Greco and Sons Inc. and Norix Group Inc. will be built at the 800-acre campus south of Roosevelt Road. In fact, construction already has started on a 782,000-square-foot building that Batavia-based Suncast will lease from Pritzker Realty Group.

     

    During an event on Wednesday, the business park's owner -- the DuPage Airport Authority -- welcomed the three companies while announcing two other pending projects. All five would amount to more than $24 million in purchased land and encompass roughly 170 acres.

     

    "This means construction of more than 1 million square feet of new buildings, hundreds of jobs located here in DuPage County, construction jobs, and positive economic impact," said Stephen Davis, chairman of the DuPage Airport Authority Board.

     

    Revenue stemming from the deals will be allocated toward FAA-mandated upgrades at the airport.

     

    Meanwhile, estimates show the Suncast and Norix projects will jointly provide nearly 400 permanent and more than 600 construction jobs, generating a combined $94 million in economic impact. Employment estimates from Greco are still under evaluation, officials said.

     

    Suncast, which manufactures custom wood structures and resin products, is planning to replace a warehouse in Montgomery with the future warehouse, distribution and showroom facility in West Chicago.

     

    Sean Maher, managing director at Pritzker Realty Group, said the 40-acre site was chosen in part because of its proximity to Batavia. It's also not too far from expressways.

     

    "It's a good location," said Maher, adding that the DuPage Business Center is one of the few sites left in the county with sizable pieces of buildable land.

     

    Norix Group, which makes commercial furniture, decided to stay in West Chicago and build a new 200,000- square-foot global headquarters in the business park. 

     

    Construction is expected to start next year.

     

    "This is a great area for us," said Shane Edwards, vice president of operations at Norix. "This is exactly where we want to be. So we decided to build."

     

    Meanwhile, Greco and Sons, an Italian foods distribution company based in Bartlett, has signed a $6.2 million agreement to build a new food processing and warehouse center on 46 acres.

     

    Originally dubbed the DuPage National Technology Park, the site was envisioned for high-tech businesses. State officials had so much faith in the project that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a $34 million grant for roads, utilities and landscaping.

     

    But the site struggled for years to find tenants. Officials say that changed when the airport formed a partnership with West Chicago and NAI Hiffman, the commercial real estate firm marketing the business center.

     

    Working with other taxing districts in West Chicago, a "strong package" was offered to attract developers and companies to the site, according to Mayor Ruben Pineda.

     

    "The package, which includes many tax incentives, made perfect economic sense in the long run due to the enhanced revenue streams that will be realized for our community," Pineda said.

     

    DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said he's "delighted" by the progress that's been made at the business park.

     

    "I've always viewed this 800-acre campus as a real opportunity," Cronin said. "We have no doubt that this is a gem of a piece of property. With the airport nearby, I am very bullish on the future of this area."


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  • Posted: September 4, 2018

    In Chicago, Data Centers are Moving to the Suburbs

    Article published by Bisnow, August 28, 2018, view here

     

    Chicagoland is on its way to becoming the next big data center hot spot. 

     

    After a steady run of tight supply and high demand, the market is ramping up for construction on a number of new projects this year. The Chicago market added 43 megawatts of data center supply last year, and construction is picking up with 16.6 megawatts underway.

     

    Limitations on power, paired with space constraints in Chicago’s downtown, has driven owners and operators to start building in Chicago’s suburbs. More available land options outside the city, in addition to lower average building costs and available power, has made suburban areas attractive destinations for large-scale data center developments. The village of Itasca, 27 miles outside of Chicago in DuPage County, is becoming the new hot spot for high-tech data centers. Just over 10 miles from Chicago O’Hare airport, the suburb is on the recently opened Interstate 390 extension of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access project. Itasca is leading the area around O’Hare to emerge as the Chicago region’s most active data center hub. 

     

    "There's definitely a herd mentality when it comes to not only data center owners and operators but data center tenants," JLL regional Midwest director and co-leader of JLL’s Midwest Chicago Data Center Services Sean Reynolds said to Crain’s Chicago. "They want to be on the tour list as an owner of a data center.”

     

    One data center company leading the herd is RagingWire. In January, the owner and operator bought 19 acres of data center space at Hamilton Lakes Business Park in Itasca. RagingWire brings instant credibility to the market. The company is a subsidiary of NTT, one of the largest information technology and data center solutions companies in the world, and operates massive data center facilities in Ashburn, Virginia, Northern California and Dallas — the first, second and third largest data center markets in the world, respectively. The Chicago data center market is fourth in the world, running neck and neck with Dallas.

     

    RagingWire’s Itasca facility is in the beginning phases for a 200K SF data center. The center could eventually grow to be 500K SF, Hamilton Partners partner Patrick McKillen said.

     

    The site will feature RagingWire’s latest data center designs, built for rapid deployment and mission critical operations, all at a market-leading price. The new design comes in single-story and two-story models and can be move-in ready in a matter of months. This speed to market, coupled with reliability and cost-effectiveness, will attract the big hyperscale cloud companies and Fortune 1000 enterprises to set up their computing systems at RagingWire in Itasca. 

     

    “We are evolving and innovating our engineering designs and construction models to give hyperscale customers and large enterprises the functionality, flexibility and connectivity they need — all at lower costs than have been offered before,” RagingWire Vice President of Global Accounts Steve Manos said.

     

    An extensive fiber network, affordable electricity costs and minimal risk of natural disaster have made the Chicago area one of the nation’s top data center markets. Chicago’s population density and growing employee base are attractive to data center users looking to locate their apps close to their users. Chicago also has a vibrant tech community of skilled workers ready to work in the data centers.

     

    “First-quarter numbers indicated data processing, hosting and related industry operations employ more than 1,600 workers in DuPage County, earning an average annual wage of more than $96K,” Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance President and CEO John Carpenter said. “This industry is not only providing attractive opportunities to our local workforce, the benefits these facilities offer to businesses looking for high-level data storage, recovery, resiliency and other critical data-related services are paramount for our continued regional economic development.”

     

    Plans for a number of other developments targeting the tech sector are in the works in Chicago's suburbs. For example, at the beginning of 2018, Brennan Investment Group announced plans to develop 86 acres of infill space into a $1B technology park in Elk Grove Village.

     

    "With these high-quality data centers coming into Itasca, there is a direct benefit from tax revenue that goes into schools and services in the area," Itasca Mayor Jeff Pruyn said. "There's a strategic advantage to hosting a data center like RagingWire, and we are excited to see the continued growth it brings to our village."

     

    With more companies moving their operations to Chicago, and supply picking up as new construction permeates the outer suburbs, data center owners and operators are preparing for even more activity throughout the region. 

     

    This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and RagingWire. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

     


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