• Posted: September 4, 2017

    Rexnord Corporation to Build New Aerospace Facility in Downers Grove

    Rexnord Corporation Downers Grove

    The Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation announced today that Rexnord Corporation will build a new manufacturing facility and Aerospace Headquarters in Downers Grove. Rexnord plans to redevelop its existing site at 2400 Curtiss in the Ellsworth Business Park. Downers Grove was selected for the project following a national search. Rexnord, a 125-year old company, is a multiplatform industrial leader that serves a diverse array of global markets. 


    "We are investing in a new facility on our existing site to support the growing needs of our customers," said Jamie Quilter, Rexnord Vice President & General Manager - Aerospace. "The new facility will provide upgraded technology and additional capacity - as well as provide our customers with an exciting experience and our associates with a unique collaborative and innovative environment. 


    Rexnord plans to build a 248,000 sq. ft. facility for its manufacturing operations and Aerospace Headquarters. The project is expected to be completed by 2019. 


    "I am extremely excited that Rexnord is expanding their presence in the Village and making this significant investment in our community," said Mayor Mart Tully. "The development of their new state of the art manufacturing facility and Aerospace Headquarters is a big win for Downers Grove."


    The DGEDC worked closely with officials from Rexnord, as well as the consulting firm that was retained for this project: Cushman & Wakefield. In addition, the Village of Downers Grove, Community High School District 99, and Downers Grove Grade School District 58, were instrumental in the attraction of this project.

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  • Posted: August 21, 2017

    Amita Health to move headquarters, 1,100 jobs to Lisle

    Written by: Alby Gullan | Published by: Crain's Chicago Business


    As Amita Health expands its reach under a big new merger, the health system plans to move its headquarters from Arlington Heights to Lisle.


    Amita has reached a tentative agreement to lease 225,000 square feet in the Navistar campus in west suburban Lisle, where it would move about 1,100 employees from seven suburban locations, including Arlington Heights. If Amita finalizes a deal with the truck maker, it would be the biggest office lease in the Chicago suburbs in more than a year.


    As it plots its headquarters move, Amita is poised for some other big changes due to another deal announced this week. Amita, a two-year-old joint venture between Ascension and Adventist Midwest Health, could more than double in size as result of Ascension's planned acquisitionof Presence Health.


    Amita's move would represent a major triumph for Lisle, bringing more office workers to its restaurants and more business to its hotels.


    "It's going to bring a lot of people working in the community that are going to spend money in the community, so to me, it seems like a big win for the village," Lisle trustee Anthony Carballo said during a discussion of the deal at an Aug. 21 village board meeting, according to a recorded video.


    Navistar has shrunk so much that its corporate offices at Interstate 88 and Naperville Road are awash in space. The company employs about 1,800 people there now, down from 3,200 when it moved there in 2011.


    In late 2015, Navistar hired Jones Lang LaSalle to find one or more tenants to lease half the space in the 1.2-million-square-foot campus. So far, JLL has found one: National Express, a transportation firm that signed a 54,000-square-foot lease in a building at 2601 Navistar Drive earlier this year.


    A Navistar executive and JLL broker outlined the Amita deal in the Aug. 21 meeting because Navistar is seeking the village's permission to expand a surface parking lot on its campus. Amita wants 5 parking spaces per every 1,000 square feet; Navistar currently can provide only 4.25, so it needs to add 176 spaces to accommodate Amita.


    Navistar would add the spots by making them narrower and removing some landscaping. The company was asking the village for a quick response, because Amita wants some assurance that the city will sign off on the change by the end of the month, when it faces a key lease deadline on another property, JLL Managing Director John Musgjerd told the trustees.


    Some trustees questioned Navistar's request to fast-track the parking change, saying they were caught off-guard by it. But in the end, the board voted to direct village staff to draft a measure that would allow for expanded parking, to be taken up by the board at its Sept 11 meeting. That was enough to satisfy Musgjerd and presumably keep the deal alive.


    Reached by phone, Musgjerd declined to comment, as did an Amita spokesman. A Navistar spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.


    Under a 10-year-lease with Navistar, Amita would move office employees to Lisle from Arlington Heights, Bolingbrook, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village and other suburban locations. It would start moving there next March, ultimately occupying three buildings on the north end of the Navistar property, Musgjerd told the Lisle trustees.


    “The only reason for this office is lease is their desire to get all their people under one roof,” Musgjerd said.


    It's unclear if the headquarters lease has anything to do with the pending Presence merger. Amita operates six acute-care hospitals and three specialty hospitals in the Chicago. The deal with Chicago-based Presence would bring 10 more hospitals under the Amita umbrella.


    The deal with Navistar, meanwhile, is good news for landlords in the west suburban office market. Though the second-quarter vacancy rate for the far western suburbs, 19.8 percent, was below the overall suburban rate of 20.6 percent, according to JLL, the market has several big blocks of empty space.


    Big vacancies include the entire former OfficeMax headquarters, a 354,000-square-foot building along I-88 in Naperville; ConAgra's former offices, an 189,000-square-foot building in Naperville, and an empty 206,000-square-foot building just east of Navistar's headquarters.


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  • Posted: August 4, 2017

    2016 Annual Report

    We DEFINE our success by how we DESIGN our success.


    And DuPage County is designed for prosperity.


    2016 was a prosperous year, full of new projects, successful events, and a renewed commitment to innovation. We retained long-held partnerships with familiar companies, fostered relationships with new businesses, and continued to make great strides in the 4-Point Plan for DuPage's Prosperity:


    4-Point Plan

    • Commercialize ideas at Argonne National Laboratory
    • Solve the last mile commute problem
    • Develop the DuPage Business Center
    • Make continual progress towards meaningful Western Access to O'Hare Airport


    The 2016 Annual Report is a blueprint of the DuPage Advantage's architecture. It reminds us that everything we do is deliberately designed for the people, the place, and the Prosperity of DuPage County.



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  • Posted: July 29, 2017

    The Truth Behind Business Migration

    The following is a letter to the editor from John Carpenter, President & CEO, Choose DuPage


    Here we go again. A recent article published in the Daily Herald by Washington Post writer Jonathan O'Connell, "Suburbs left scrambling as McDonald's, other firms relocate to big cities," continues to spread the false narrative of business relocating to city centers for better opportunities.


    The article focuses on McDonald's decision in 2016 to leave Oak Brook for Chicago's West Loop neighborhood to attract a younger workforce and integrate better uses of technology. In truth, this migration should be seen for what it really is -- a cost-cutting measure. While companies moving downtown will pay more per square foot for the smaller real estate, due to the reduced head count and benefit incentives, savings are realized.


    Despite the misleading headlines, the western suburbs of Chicago are alive and well. DuPage County maintains the lowest unemployment rate in the Chicago region, as it has consistently for years and we are confident our skilled and educated workforce will fuel our growing business sector for years to come. We are excited for this opportunity to attract new residents and businesses to an impressive Oak Brook complex with a supersized opportunity in DuPage County.



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  • Posted: July 28, 2017

    Mid-Year Review Shows Continued Strong Economic Indicators for DuPage County

    DuPage County continues to boast lowest unemployment and lowest industrial vacancy rates in the region


    Choose DuPage has released its 2017 Second Quarter Economic Indicators Report, showing continued success for business and industry in DuPage County during the first half of 2017. Maintaining the lowest unemployment rates in the region at just 3.3 percent, DuPage County’s skilled and educated workforce continue to present opportunities for job creators and entrepreneurs seeking to build, expand operations in the county.  Data suggests DuPage County offers a business-friendly environment for a variety of industry sectors while the state and surrounding communities continue to navigate struggles with high taxes, pension challenges and a hostile business climate. 


    2017 Mid-Year Highlights:


    • DuPage County continues to maintain the lowest unemployment rate in the Chicagoland six-county region at 3.3 percent, lower than both Illinois (4.3 percent) and United States (4.1percent).
    • DuPage County‘s current top job opportunities include positions in computers and mathematics, management, office and administrative support, sales, healthcare practitioners, business and finance, and transportation.
    • Industrial vacancy rates remain steady at 5.4%; DuPage County continues to have the lowest industrial vacancy rate in the region.
    • Sales tax receipts increased by 1.3% compared to the same time last year growing from $314M to $318M indicating consumer spending habits remain strong in DuPage County.


    “DuPage office vacancy rates have held steady around 16-17 percent in 2017, with industrial vacancy rates running around 5.4 percent – the lowest industrial vacancy rate in the region,” said John Carpenter, president and CEO of Choose DuPage. “Our low taxes and operating costs, strong labor demographics, proximity to hotels and dining, as well as shopping, golf and recreational activities are just a few of the benefits our community provides to businesses considering opportunities in DuPage.”


    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. Currently, roughly 800 foreign-based firms representing 40 countries are located in DuPage County providing workforce opportunities throughout the region.


    DuPage County has consistently maintained the lowest unemployment rate in the Chicagoland region and boasts an AAA bond rating due to its strong economy, fiscal management and healthy budgetary performance. For all these reasons and more, DuPage continues to maintain a solid, thriving economy.


    The Choose DuPage 2017 Second Quarter Economic Indicators Report can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here.


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  • Posted: May 1, 2017

    Close to 700 Business Leaders Attend 8th Annual DuPage County Regional Outlook Event

    Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871, shared his perspective on the impact of innovative technologies on the DuPage County economy with an audience of 700 top business leaders during the 8th Annual DuPage County Regional Business Outlook event on May 3 at the Drury Lane Conference Center. The annual event, hosted by Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, Mesirow Financial and Ice Miller, brought together nearly 700 local business owners, executives, government and education leaders, as well as other members of DuPage County’s business community to share insights about the emerging technologies and their effect on the current regional and national economic landscape, as well as to discuss best practices and growing potential in today’s economy.  


    During his keynote address, Tullman expressed to the crowd that to remain relevant in the growing economy, companies must quickly adapt to new, innovative technology and services that enhance the lives of consumers—whether that be by saving time, money, or energy. From ground breaking new wearables to the latest social trends, Howard Tullman offered a no-nonsense and straightforward talk inspiring local business leaders to get active inventing the future. 


    Howard Tullman


    “This is the right now economy, people want things now,” said Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871. “Businesses need to be there—to be helpful, to be quick, and to develop the methodology to pay me for my attention—meaning that the business saves me time, helps me make a better decision or saves me money.”


    Tullman provided an exciting and rapid fire review of the major tech trends that will radically shake up the ways we think about disruptive innovation, new product development and satisfying the accelerating demands of your customers.


    Prior to Tullman’s remarks, Dan Cronin, DuPage County Board Chairman, provided an overview of the current DuPage County economic outlook, while Leo Harmon, managing director, equity management for Mesirow Financial and Peter Hegel, senior managing director, fixed income management for Mesirow Financial, presented a U.S. Market Outlook. The presentations offered an optimistic view about current market trends provided pro-growth and pro-business policies are enacted by the local, state, and national governments.  



    “I’m pleased to report our DuPage economic picture is positive,” said Chairman Dan Cronin.  “We strive to create an atmosphere in which both new and established businesses can grow and thrive.  Our unemployment rate is among the lowest in Illinois and we know employers are attracted by our highly trained and educated workforce and our outstanding quality of life.”



    Following the keynote presentation, business journalist Lisa Leiter hosted a panel discussion on advancements and opportunity in DuPage County with Vincent Tomkinson, Midwest managing partner, Grant Thornton; John Carlisle, interim director, Chain Reaction Innovations, Argonne National Laboratory; and Roman Kuropas, CEO, president and founder, Innova EV. The panel’s remarks echoed the theme of the overall event which positioned DuPage County as a smart choice for overall business success. DuPage County offers a business-friendly environment, skilled workforce, high quality of life and growing industry sectors including manufacturing, business services, healthcare, retail and technology. DuPage County is experiencing a prosperous business climate and today’s event reinforced the spirit of innovation and opportunities throughout the business community.



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