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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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  • Posted: September 3, 2018

    SMS Assist Focuses on Customer Service with New Office

    SMS Assist, one of Chicago’s fastest-growing technology companies, today announced a major expansion with the opening of a second area office in suburban Naperville. 

     

    The expansion will allow SMS Assist, headquartered in downtown Chicago, to accelerate investments in its industry-leading workforce and business solutions, which bring efficiency to multisite property management. The company, which plans to build out the new office initially with dozens of customer service riles, has a global workforce of more than 800 employees. 

     

    “Our success is driven by our people,” said Taylor Rhodes, SMS Assist’s CEO. “They’re the reason we’re here today. This new office allows us to continue creating opportunities for the team while also strengthening what’s already the best customer service in the industry.”

     

    SMS Assist, recognized for its internal talent development program, chose Naperville for the new office because of the city’s strong business environment and highly skilled workforce. Naperville, with numerous colleges and top-ranked school districts, is regularly rated as one of the most educated, best places to live in the country. 

     

    The company has subleased 35,000 square feet in CityGate Centre near Interstate 88 and Route 59. It will open the facility at 2135 CityGate Lane next month with about 30 workers, says CEO Taylor Rhodes (reported by Crain’s).

     

    The new office, which features free covered parking, an on-site gym, building food court and dedicated training space, will allow the company to accommodate up to 400 employees. The hiring process is already underway, with job descriptions available online. 

     

    SMS is expanding in the burbs at a time when suburban companies, such as McDonald’s, continue to migrate downtown in search of labor. A handful of companies—such as Motorola Solutions, Walgreens, Fieldglass and startup Catalytic—have locations in both the city and suburbs (reported by Crain's).

     

    “You get a lot of great talent downtown,” Rhodes said. “There are other pools of people who look favorably at not having to get on a train and come downtown. We studied quite a few spaces before choosing this one. The labor, proximity to college-educated folks, the mix of type of talent was right. It also gives us a second site, which helps with disaster-recovery requirements” (reported by Crain's).

     

    SMS Assist enhances how customers experience some of the nation’s biggest brands, streamlining dozens of facilities maintenance services with best-in-class contractors. The company’s technology platform offers real-time quality assurance and transparency across thousands of locations simultaneously. 

     

    For two years running, SMS Assist has earned a spot on the Forbes World’s Best 100 Cloud Companies list. 

     

    About SMS Assist

    SMS Assist is a Chicago-based technology company providing multisite property management to a roster of Fortune 500 clients with a team of more than 800 dedicated employees and more than 186,000 service locations. Using its proprietary software platform to manage its network of more than 20,000 affiliate subcontractors, SMS Assists offers a suite of property management benefits including leveraged pricing of products and services, $50 million insurance policy, real-time services validation, instant invoicing, automatic service audits, and data analysis to ensure quality and cost efficiency. SMS Assist is revolutionizing multisite property management services for clients including JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), O’Reilly Automative, Inc. (NASDAQ: ORLY) and Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE: INVH). To learn more, visit smsassist.com. 

     


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  • Posted: August 14, 2018

    Plans in place to renovate Butterfield Office Plaza

     

    Clear Height Properties and its JV partner Corcoran Commercial Real Estate, have launched the renovation and repositioning plans for 26Twentyfive, formerly known as Butterfield Office Plaza which was acquired in July. 

     

    In conjunction with the launching of that program, the partnership has retained Oakbrook Terrace-based NAI Hiffman to lead the rebrand of the property and manage and lease the building. Executive Vice President Dan O'Neill, Senior Vice President Adam Johnson and Associate Ryan Maher of NAI Hiffman have been retained by the new owner to lead the leasing efforts. In doing so, the NAI team will leverage a modern brand, new name and website while differentiating the project from the many office centers, plazas and parks in the greater Oak Brook area. 

     

    2625 Butterfield is a 200,774, square-foot, multi-story office building situated on 10 acres with premier visibility from the I-88 Tollway. The property has office spaces available for lease ranging in sizes from 700 to 9,000 square feet. 

     

    "26Twentyfive, is an exciting edeavor for us," said Dominic Sergi, CEO and president of Clear Height Properties. "We are excitied to reposition this asset into a new modern workplace environment that will inspire users of various sizes."

     

    A robust capital and redevelopment plan has been established for the asset in the coming months. Chief among the priorities for the renovated and repositioned 26Twentyfive include further amentizing the asset with the addition of modern conference facilities, fitness center, refreshed entrance, lobby and expanded WiFi lounge. 

     

    "The amenity race isn't just for the trophy, class A assets anymore. Businesses looking to attract a multigenerational workforce while providing a premier location for its employees and clients is important more now than ever," Johnson said. "We are excited to work with Clear Height Properties to breathe new life into a well-located office asset, with outstanding, untapped potential."

     

    Press release issued by NAI Hiffman.

     

    Featured in Daily Herald.


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  • Posted: August 11, 2018

    Chicago Regional Growth Corporation

    Together with Cook, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties, DuPage County and Choose DuPage have joined in supporting regional economic development through the Chicago Regional Growth Corporation (CRGC). The organization fosters collaboration and cultivates a regional approach to economic development in order to generate inclusive growth and prosperity across northeastern Illinois.

     

    MISSION

     

    • Provide a platform for collaboration from public and private leaders.
    • Prioritize, align and manage the region’s economic development activities to increase competitiveness and improve access for historically disinvested communities.
    • Provide a unified voice for northeastern Illinois.

     

    STRATEGIES

     

    GLOBAL PROGRAMS

     

    Grow the region’s economy and improve competitiveness by leveraging the assets to engage in international trade that drives increased exports and attracts and nurtures foreign direct investment.

     

    • Grow the pipeline of export-ready firms
    • Enhance the export ecosystem
    • Reduce costs to access global markets
    • Creative a platform to facilitate foreign-direct investment
    • Engage, celebrate and support FOEs
    • Nurture global leadership in key sectors
    • Advance cohesive global identity

     

    INDUSTRY CLUSTERS

     

    Build on the region’s strengths by fostering its globally competitive industries.

     

    • Develop protocol for delivering export and FDI programs to the metals cluster
    • Promote the region as a leader for key sectors
    • Identify additional priority industries
    • Align stakeholder efforts

     

    REGIONAL SYSTEMS

     

    Improve essential economic systems at a regional level to foster more effective communication and more inclusive and equitable growth.

     

    • Establish region-wide channels of communication
    • Host economic development boot camps
    • Develop protocol for collaboration on major projects
    • Identify key systems for facilitating an inclusive and equitable economy
    • Prioritize opportunities and align them with clusters

     

    ELECTED OFFICERS

     

    James M. Roolf, Chair
    Joliet Banking Center

     

    Nelda J. Connors, Vice-Chair
    Pine Grove Holdings

     

    John A. Carpenter, Secretary
    Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance

     

    Alberto J. Paracchini, Treasurer
    Byline Bank

     

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS

     

    Andrez Beltran, Kendall County

    Nim Chinniah, Northwestern University

    Kevin Considine, Lake County Partners

    Dan Cronin, Chairman, DuPage County

    Steven Davis, The Will Group

    Jack Franks, Chairman, McHenry County

    John Greuling, Will County Center for Eco. Dev.

    Scott Gryder, Chairman, Kendall County

    Michael Jasso, Cook County Bureau of Eco. Dev.

    Chris Lauzen, Chairman, Kane County

    Aaron Lawlor, Chairman, Lake County

    Michael Moskow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

    Aneesa Muthana, Pioneer Service

    Toni Preckwinkle, Chairman, Cook County

    Robert Rivkin, Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago

    Ann Rondeau, College of DuPage

    Michael Skala, McHenry County

    Joe Slawek, FONA International

    Mike VanKerkhoff, Kane County Development

    Larry Walsh, Executive, Will County

    Andrea Zopp, World Business Chicago

     

     


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  • Posted: August 8, 2018

    Aldi expands corporate footprint in Naperville

     

    The discount retailer will continue to operate its headquarters in Batavia and will lease additional space at 1000-1100 East Warrenville Road in Naperville, also known as the Napervile Woods Office Center. 

     

    The quickly growing retailer said it will lease about 113,000 square feet of space at the office center, representing 80 percent of the space vacated by Health Care Service Corp.

     

    Aldi said last year it would invest $3.4 billion to expand its U.S. store base from more than 1,700 currently to 2,500 by 2022. The company did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests about the corporate expansion or how many people will work in Naperville. 

     

    Health Care Service Corp., a national insurance organization that provides health insurance services for more than 15 million customers, will lease about 32,000 square feet of space at the office center. Though this is an overall reduction in its footprint, Heath Care Corp. maintains its position as Naperville Woods' largest tenant with a total occupancy of about 175,000 square feet.

     

    NAI Hiffman was retained by Agellan Commercial REIT in 2015 to lease and manage the two properties, which have about 490,000 square feet. Since then, the properties were updated with an on-site concierge service, new food service operation, fitness center, tenant lounges, electric vehicle charging station and Zagster bike sharing. 

     

    "These two leases are truly the result of what can be achieved when ownership, management and leasing work together toward a common goal. We are extremely proud of the success we achieved as a team in this challenging market," said Pat Kiefer, NAI Higgman executive vice president. 

     

    With the addition of these two transactions and lack of tenant expirations in the near future, Naperville Woods Office Center's availability rate is less than 2 percent, making it one of the most stable class A assets on the western end of the east-west corridor area, the company said.

     

    Press release issued by NAI Hiffman.

     

    Featured in Daily Herald.


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  • Posted: August 3, 2018

    Bridge Development Breaks Ground on 678,000 Sq. Ft. Project in Downers Grove

     

    The Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation (DGEDC) recently announced that Bridge Development Partners, LLC, broke ground on Bridge Point Downers Grove. The 678,858 sq. ft. industrial/office development is a joint venture of Bridge Development Partners and Banner Oak Capital Partners. The project, which is on a 54-acre site off Lacey and Finley Roads, north of Warrenville Road, will be completed in early 2019. 

     

    "Bridge believes this project will be one of the most unique and notable new development starts in the Chicago industrial market in years," said Steve Groetsema, Principal and Chicago Market Officer, Bridge Development Partners. "This is an irreplaceable large infill tract of land in Chicago's west suburbs positioned to attract tenants from I-55, West Cook County and DuPage County submarkets."

     

    The groundbreaking ceremony, which was hosted by Premier Design + Build Group, LLC, included Mayor Martin Tully, State Representative David Olsen, DGEDC President Michael Cassa, Village Manager Dave Fieldman, and DGEDC Chairman John Luka. The ceremony featured renderings of the three buildings: 3600 Lacey (174,576 sq. ft.), 3700 Lacey (212,937 sq. ft.) and 3800 Finley (291,345 sq. ft.). In total, the three buildings will have 106 docks and 681 parking spaces. Cushman and Wakefield is the leasing broker for the project. 

     

    "I am thrilled that Bridge Development Partners has added Bridge Point Downers Grove to its impressive list of projects in the Chicago area" said Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully. "Bridge Point tenants will be able to take advantage of the strategic location that provides visibility from both I-88 and I-355."

     

    The Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation is the official agency for economic development for the Village of Downers Grove. Please visit their website at www.dgedc.com


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