• Posted: September 5, 2016

    DuPage County New & Expanded Companies, 2012-2016 Highlights

    The following is a summary of projects from 2012-2016. The information below was prepared by Choose DuPage from various sources. In some cases, information may be estimated.



    Ace Hardware

    2222 Kensington Ct., Oak Brook
    Type of Project: Lease Renewal
    Investment: $28 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 740


    Edward Don

    9801 Adam Don Pkwy., Woodridge
    Type of Project: Headquarters
    Square Feet of Development: 362,500
    Investment: $25 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 400


    Ferrara Candy

    One Tower Ln., Oakbrook Terrace
    Type of Project: Headquarters
    Square Feet of Development: 39,000
    Jobs Created or Retained: Unknown


    Greco and Sons Foods

    1550 Hecht Dr., Bartlett
    Type of Project: Expansion

    Square Feet of Development: 33,000
    Investment: $2 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 100


    Midwestern University Dental Clinic

    345 Lacey Rd., Downers Grove
    Type of Project: New Facility
    Square Feet of Development: 193,200
    Investment: $120 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: Unknown


    Universal Technical Institute

    2611 Corporate Dr., Lisle
    Type of Project: New Facility
    Square Feet of Development: 185,000
    Investment: $37.5 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 150



    Haynes Furniture/The Dump

    2660 S. Highland Ave., Lombard and 164 N. Meadow Rd., Addison
    Type of Project: New Retail & Warehouse Space
    Square Feet of Development: 349,000
    Jobs Created or Retained: 350


    C. Cretors & Company

    176 Mittel Dr., Wood Dale
    Type of Project: Relocation
    Investment: Unknown
    Jobs Created or Retained: 95



    2001 Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove
    Type of Project: Relocation
    Square Feet of Development: 11,000
    Investment: $4.7 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 40


    Greencore Foods

    10350 Argonne Dr., Woodridge
    Type of Project: Expansion
    Jobs Created or Retained: 150



    1528 Brook Dr., Downers Grove
    Type of Project: Expansion
    Square Feet of Development: 47,000
    Investment: $7 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: Unknown


    Orbus Exhibit & Display Group

    9033 Murphy Rd., Woodridge
    Type of Project: Headquarters
    Square Feet of Development: 350,000
    Investment: Unknown
    Jobs Created or Retained: 300



    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    One Pierce Place, Itasca
    Type of Project: Relocation
    Square Feet of Development: 110,000
    Jobs Created or Retained: 340


    Addus Healthcare Inc.

    2300 Warrenville Rd., Downers Grove
    Square Feet of Development: 59,000
    Investment: $9.4 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: Unknown


    Ferrara Candy

    201 Carlow Dr., Bolingbrook
    Type of Project: New Facility
    Square Feet of Development: 75,000
    Investment: Unknown


    Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

    2650 Warrenville Rd., Downers Grove
    Type of Project: Headquarters
    Square Feet of Development: 40,000
    Jobs Created or Retained: 100


    True Heading USA

    55 Shuman Blvd., Naperville
    Investment: $55 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 180



    1 Parkview Plaza, Oakbrook Terrace
    Type of Project: Relocation
    Square Feet Leased: 53,372
    Jobs Created or Retained: Unknown



    Atlantic Packaging

    700 Kimberly Dr., Carol Stream
    Type of Project: New Facility
    Square Feet of Development: 387,443
    Investment: $40 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 100


    Corecentric Solutions Inc.

    191 E. North Ave., Glendale Heights
    Type of Project: New Facility
    Square Feet of Development: 350,000
    Investment: $17.5 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 350


    M&R Printing Equipment

    440 Medinah Rd., Roselle
    Type of Project: Lease
    Square Feet of Development: 319,885
    Investment: $19 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 600



    1222 Hamilton Pkwy., Itasca
    Type of Project: Headquarters
    Square Feet of Development: 54,150
    Investment: $6.5 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 125


    Semblex Corporation

    900 Church Rd., Elmhurst
    Square Feet: 98,233
    Investment: $10 Million
    Jobs Created or Retained: 186


    Shorr Packaging Corp.

    400 Ferry Rd., Aurora
    Type of Project: Headquarters
    Square Feet of Development: 242,732
    Jobs Created or Retained: 140


    Fellowes Inc.

    1789 Norwood Ave., Itasca
    Type of Project: New Facility
    Square Feet of Development: 500,000
    Investment: Unknown
    Jobs Created or Retained: 125


    DS Containers

    DuPage Business Center, West Chicago
    Type of Project: New Facility
    Square Feet of Development: 300,278
    Investment: Unknown
    Jobs Created or Retained: 15




    American Academy of Pediatrics


    345 Park Blvd., Itasca
    Type of Project: Headquarters
    Square Feet of Development: 183,000
    Jobs Created or Retained: 480  

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  • Posted: August 20, 2016

    Man bites dog? DuPage eyes public transit, bikes, to boost economy


    The head of DuPage County's economic development unit is plugging an unorthodox idea—better use of public transit, and even bicycles—as a critical step to boost the county's job market.


    In a panel presentation and a subsequent interview, new Choose DuPage President and CEO John Carpenter said "closing the last-mile commute issue" is one of four things the group will focus on to revitalize the county's economy.


    The others are more conventional but equally challenging: completing western ground access to O'Hare International Airport, commercializing research at Argonne National Laboratory and developing the county's huge but largely empty DuPage Business Center campus in West Chicago.


    Carpenter, a former American Airlines and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce official, took over his new gig last fall. Since then, the phenomenon of large employers leaving the suburbs for downtown in search of top young talent has only strengthened, with McDonald's recently announcing it will move its headquarters to the former Harpo Studios site in Fulton Market.


    In fighting back, DuPage needs to consider all options—including expanded transit in an area that epitomizes the American love affair with the automobile, Carpenter said. His particular focus is "the last mile" between the county's many commuter rail stations and homes, factories and offices that are riders' final destinations.


    "There's no reason why millennials who live in the Loop can't get on the train and come out here to work," said Carpenter, whose county's population has leveled off at a bit under 1 million. But the lack of an easy connection is "a pretty big problem" now.


    To solve it, Choose DuPage and Metra are about to launch a pilot test in which app-summoned electric vehicles supplied by Burr Ridge-based InnovaEV would get commuters to the job. Choose DuPage also is eyeing a bicycle-sharing service like Chicago's Divvy to fill the commuting hole.


    At Argonne, a new incubator is about to begin bringing in companies, some of them tech firms and/or startups, to take advantage of the lab's research production. Once they come, Carpenter wants them to stay and expand.


    "There's no reason Argonne can't do for us what Silicon Valley has" for the San Francisco area, Carpenter said.


    The DuPage Business Center now occupies about 800 acres near DuPage Airport. It's one of the few areas of county with large chunks of open space ready for development, Carpenter said.


    Western access to O'Hare is particularly critical, with the potential to make the west side of the airport just as developed as the east side, with a dozen hotels, shopping, a convention center and a gambling casino in Rosemont.


    But a current dispute between the Illinois Tollway and the Canadian Pacific Railway about using CP land for the proposed Elgin-O'Hare Expressway is "very serious," Carpenter said. "The railroad has changed its position after years in which it said it would agree to a deal," he added, a change CP concedes but says it had good reason to do.


    Once the road is done and one of O'Hare's diagonal runways removed in two years, adjacent areas immediately to the west will be prime for development, Carpenter said. But that assumes Chicago officials eventually build some sort of people mover from the west side of the airport to its main terminals.


    Published by Crain's Chicago Online | Greg Hinz on Politics | Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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  • Posted: August 15, 2016

    Why Real Estate Developers Should Choose DuPage


    John Carpenter's 4-Point Plan for Economic Development


    John Carpenter Choose DuPage

    Choose DuPage CEO John Carpenter is aggressively pursuing business in DuPage County. Before he speaks at Bisnow’s “State of the Suburbs” event, Aug. 23 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, John laid out four approaches he’s identified for further economic growth and development in the area. He's an expert at the power of persuasion. Before John joined Choose DuPage last September, he was SVP at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, where he was responsible for public policy initiatives and leading the charge on legislative affairs. Prior to that he was VP of corporate affairs for American Airlines. John says he inherited a wonderfully talented staff that is dedicated to championing DuPage County as an complement to downtown Chicago as an economic generator. Here's what John has planned to compel business leaders and commercial real estate professionals to, well, choose DuPage County for their next major projects.


    1. Commercializing Ideas At Argonne National Laboratory

    In May, Argonne National Laboratory launched Chain Reaction Innovations (CIR), a onsite tech incubator for science and energy entrepreneurs, and is working with Choose DuPage to attract companies that would best benefit from Argonne’s world-class facilities and research. John says Argonne’s incubator is different from Choose DuPage’s Rev3 Innovation Center, which is geared toward innovation startups.


    2. Solving The “Last Mile” Commute Problem

    One persistent issue with companies that call the suburbs home is finding ways to make the commutes of office workers who choose not to drive to their jobs easier. Many office buildings aren't conveniently located to public transit alternatives such as train stations, a problem known as the last-mile commute. John says Choose DuPage and Burr Ridge-based Innova EV are exploring a pilot program with Metra that would use two-, four- and eight-passenger electric vehicles to get employees to work. If successful, it could lay the groundwork for similar programs throughout DuPage County. John says Choose DuPage is also exploring other options, such as bike share programs, with business leaders.


    3. Developing And Encouraging Growth At DuPage Business Center

    This 800-acre campus in West Chicago has a diverse communication system and accessible utilities onsite, allowing for a variety of layout and facility designs including build-to-suit, and has access to a broad transportation network John says has been underutilized for some time. John tells us Choose DuPage is talking with several interested parties about relocating to DuPage Business Center. DS Containers is adding 251k SF to its lease and will occupy a total footprint of 551k SF.


    4. Facilitating Western Access To O’Hare Airport

    This is well underway, with the ongoing extension of the Elgin-O’Hare expressway. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2025, dovetails with the Chicago Aviation Department’s expansion and modernization of O’Hare International Airport. Having simpler access to O’Hare from the western suburbs will save $145M in travel delays by 2020; create over 13,000 jobs annually during the project; boost local tax revenues by $29M annually; and most important, lay the groundwork for the creation of 65,000 jobs by 2040.


    Published by: Bisnow | View Original Article

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  • Posted: August 1, 2016

    Hyundai moves into new Central U.S. Regional office in Oakbrook Terrace


    Hyundai - 2 TransAm Plaza Dr

    Cushman & Wakefield announced that the Central Regional Offices of Hyundai Motor America (“HMA”) have relocated into TransAm Plaza Two in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

    The multinational automotive company recently completed its move into 18,044 square feet on the top floor of the five-story office building located at 2 Trans Am Plaza Drive. HMA’s office move to Oakbrook Terrace places the company in a larger Class A building positioned adjacent to the Chicago Automobile Trade Association just off Butterfield Road (Illinois Route 56). It also repositions part of the company’s offices about halfway to Chicago from its former facility. The company is relocating a total of 75 employees for administration and dealer-related services that serve 13 Midwestern states and over 250 retail dealerships across the region. HMA officially executed the lease directly from the owner, American Landmark Properties, earlier this year in a deal valued at more than $4 million. The company relocated a portion of its regional office operation nearly 20 miles east from its subsidiary’s parts warehouse building at 1705 Sequoia Avenue in Aurora, Kane County. Notably, HMA had recently sold the 350,800-plus-square-foot industrial property in Aurora to Boston-based Cabot Partners in a separate sale-leaseback transaction valued at nearly $25 million. HMA’s service training center and parts distribution subsidiary, Mobis, will remain in the Aurora facility. Debra Streff, Senior Group Manager, Administrative Services, of HMA orchestrated the transaction on behalf of HMA, collaborating with brokers Donald Yahn, Brett Swartzbaugh, Jordan Rovito, Jason West, Sean Henrick and Michael Magliano of Cushman & Wakefield’s Irvine (Orange County) and Chicago offices, who joined forces to represent HMA in the deal. JBS Commercial represented the landlord. HMA’s project architect was EWP Architects, and construction was provided by Executive Construction, Inc.

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  • Posted: July 30, 2016

    Ron Lunt Named Private Sector Co-Chair of Choose DuPage


    New co-chair brings over 44 years of real estate experience to Choose DuPage leadership

    Ron LuntChoose DuPage is pleased to announce Ron Lunt, partner at Hamilton Partners, has been named private sector co-chair of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, joining chairman of DuPage County Board and public-sector co-chair, Dan Cronin. Lunt will serve as elected private sector co-chair for a two-year term.


    Lunt moves into his new role as co-chair after having served on the board of directors for Choose DuPage for the last three and half years. In his position at Hamilton Partners, he is responsible for the development and acquisition activities of the firm. A founding partner, Lunt has been with the firm since 1987 and has seen the firm grow to become one of the largest privately held real estate development firms in the central U.S. with a total portfolio of over 25 million square feet. The firm manages office, industrial, rental properties and retail projects in Chicago, Salt Lake City, Denver, Milwaukee and Raleigh Durham. Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Hamilton Partners has ownership in over 10 million square feet of office and warehouse space in DuPage County and is a major stakeholder in the region. “Choose DuPage plays an integral role in the success and prosperity of DuPage County, bringing public and private leaders together to make a positive impact for our community.” said Lunt. “This is an exciting time for DuPage County and there is tremendous opportunity in the region.” “We are thrilled to have Ron take this leadership role for Choose DuPage,” said John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage. “He is widely respected in the business community and has the vision and foresight to further expand DuPage County’s prosperous economy and thriving business community.” Lunt is committed to enhancing the economic development of DuPage County.  He has been directly involved in the development of more than 10 million square feet of office buildings, 8 million square feet of office acquisitions, and acquired over 1,000 acres of office space within the region. Ron Lunt also serves as the DuPage Development Council Treasurer, is an Industrial and Office Park Development Council Member of the Urban Land Institute, and holds a seat on the Elgin O'Hare Western Access (EOWA) Advisory Board. Lunt is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

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  • Posted: July 27, 2016

    Spec Office Development Returns to Oak Brook


    Spec Office Building in Oak Brook


    The building at 2100 Swift will have a new look, and many significant changes, including a set of windows that will allow natural light to flood the space.

    The office market in Oak Brook took a big hit with the announcement by fast food giant McDonald’s that it planned to move its global headquarters into downtown Chicago. But some developers are still quite bullish on the prospects for luring tenants into new space in the west suburban town.


    Schaumburg-based REM Builders recently began a 60,000 SF speculative office redevelopment at 2100 Swift Rd. in Oak Brook that involves stripping the existing three story building down to the columns and completely rebuilding it to class A quality. CBRE has been retained to market the property, which REM plans to deliver in late 2016.


    “Oak Brook is probably the most mature part of the I-88 corridor,” Jeffrey Mann, senior vice president at CBRE, tells, with its multi-tenant buildings having an average age of about 38 years. But today’s tenants are most eager to occupy new office space that incorporates the latest thinking on interior design and how that impacts employees’ quality of life. “There is a real niche in this market for buildings that have a new, fresh feel and for all intents and purposes, this is a new construction delivery.”


    Tenants at the renovated 2100 Swift will find a set of offices modeled on the product now found in Chicago submarkets such as the West Loop and Fulton market, says Pete Adamo, senior vice president at of CBRE, who along with Mann will market the property. “We think suburban tenants want that as well.”


    “The building has been stripped down to the slabs and will be entirely reconstructed,” he adds. And the developer will replace all of the vital building systems, upgrade all of the interiors and exteriors and deliver all of the standard amenities for today’s office users. That includes designing open offices that users can turn into the collaborative spaces most desired by the millennial generation, and greatly expanded windows that will flood the interiors with natural light.


    This is not an entirely new strategy for Oak Brook developers. As reported in, in 2014 Golub & Co. and its partner Alcion Ventures bought Oak Brook Executive Plaza, a 1970's-era office complex on W. 22nd St., and have transformed it into Oak Brook 22. However, that 389,000square-foot development “has not been renovated to the extent that 2100 will be,” says Adamo. In that respect, “2100 will be unique.”


    The parking structure at 2100 Swift is also unique for the suburbs as the four-level parking deck allows for six spaces per 1,000 square feet, double the typical suburban setup of three spaces per 1,000 square feet.


    “As new workplace strategies have evolved to encourage a more densely populated office environment, the suburbs have often been hindered by parking restrictions,” says Adamo. “That is not the case with this project. It is one of the few buildings in the suburbs that will be able to house a large-scale workforce and still provide the convenience of ample parking. This property will work for any large firm, whether it be technology, consulting, financial or marketing.”

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