• Posted: July 20, 2016

    O'Hare gate expansions good news for western access, Cronin says


    Talk of adding gates on O'Hare's west side and an underground people-mover are positive signals that the suburbs' clout drought at the airport is over, according to DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin.




    Chicago announced a massive redevelopment program Friday at O'Hare that includes nine new gates at Terminal 5 and redeveloping the outdated Terminal 2.


    Missing from the rollout was a mention of DuPage County's economic holy grail -- a western terminal. However, the city is contemplating building new concourses to the west once the market demands it.


    Preliminary diagrams show options for concourses on O'Hare's west side near an access from the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway extension, currently under construction, and an underground people-mover train that would transport passengers to other terminals.


    "They're moving economic activity closer to the western side. We will have a toll roadway outside their gates where thousands will drive by. ... It's going to happen," Cronin said.


    Although the city has identified $300 million to upgrade Terminal 5, there's no funding yet for the other projects.


    Revenues for Terminal 5 work will come from fees tacked onto plane tickets, financing that requires a buy-in from American and United Airlines. The two carriers sued Chicago over parts of its modernization program before but are now negotiating with the city.


    "You can't force-feed the issue. We have to see what the industry can support," Cronin said.


    "O'Hare fuels the entire region's economy. I really believe we can further leverage it to impact the western side of the airport. The capital improvements outlined alone will bring more than 1,000 jobs and an increased economic impact across the region."


    The suburbs have had a tumultuous relationship with O'Hare and Chicago leaders, but Cronin said he's collaborating with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans.


    "We've had multiple meetings and they've been great partners," Cronin said.


    The Illinois tollway is extending the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway (Route 390) east, and it's expected to reach O'Hare by 2019 or so.


    Somewhat nebulous plans had included a parking lot and a bus to take people entering the airport from Route 390 to the main terminals. The prospect of an underground people-mover train and concourses is a major step-up.


    "I believe this is a very important building block. This plan will realize its full potential and work most effectively when passengers are coming in from the west," Cronin said.


    The city intends to expand Terminal 5, which opened 23 years ago, by 25 percent.


    Plans for Terminal 2 would convert the underused facility into a central hub with a new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol center and TSA screening stations.


    O'Hare's been notorious for delays, but a centralized terminal would help fliers make connecting flights, officials said.


    Originally Published by: Daily Herald | Marni Pyke | View Article

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  • Posted: July 15, 2016

    Letter to Crain's Chicago Business Editor: The West Loop Can Have McDonald's

    Written by: John A. Carpenter, President & CEO | Choose DuPage 


    Sure, Ronald McDonald is packing up and leaving Oak Brook, but we need to consider the McDonald's move in context. The McDonald's corporation is attempting to recuperate after an unshakable period of lethargy. As part of CEO Steve Easterbrook's strategy in which he must slim down the burger chain by $500 million, he plans to outsource jobs to India with cheaper labor costs, terminate a regional office in Ohio, and has laid off hundreds of workers—400-plus last year alone.


    The migration of the Golden Arches from its serene and economically secure campus in Oak Brook to Chicago should be seen as a justification to minimize square footage and lessen payroll by reducing the number of employees. The city of Chicago is fraught with soaring taxes, enormous pension debt and a business climate that's suffocating job creators. DuPage County has so much more to offer. Our low unemployment, skilled and educated workforce, and growing business sector will remain long after the city of Chicago uses up its source of corporate Band-Aids. Just this year, Chicago's credit rating was further diminished to basically “junk” status, the lowest grade among all major U.S. cities, except formerly bankrupt Detroit. DuPage County boasts a AAA bond rating due to its strong economy, fiscal management and healthy budgetary performance. In June, DuPage County dropped its sales tax by a quarter-cent, putting $36 million back into taxpayer pockets. Led by Chairman Dan Cronin, our county board ensures DuPage continues to be the economic development model for the Chicago region. A recent DuPage County audit shows economic activity throughout the community is booming as local commerce and business development flourish. DuPage maintains the lowest unemployment rate in the Chicago region, as it has for years. Our businesses are expanding and vacancy rates continue to decline. In 2015 alone, 3,792 jobs were created or retained and 105 new projects took shape in DuPage County with a total investment of $571 million. Similar numbers hold true for the past four years. The DuPage County education system provides both a skilled workforce for our employers and a solid base for our children. Over 92 percent of residents graduate high school, with half of them earning a bachelor's degree or higher—the highest success rate in the state, and much higher than the national average of 32.5 percent. McDonald's unfortunate move aside, DuPage County is alive and well. In fact, we are excited for the opportunity to soon be seeking new residents for an impressive Oak Brook complex with a super-sized opportunity inside DuPage County.

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  • Posted: July 8, 2016

    Section of former Elgin-O’Hare Expressway now a tollway

    Western Access O'Hare

    The completed western section of Illinois Route 390 is now officially part of the state’s tollway system.


    Tolls for the 6-mile stretch of tollway, which used to be known as the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, are charged every mile and a half. Greg Bedalov, executive director of Illinois Tollway, said the tolls range from 30 to 60 cents per transaction per passenger vehicle, with a cost of $1.25 to go the entire length of the segment. Trucks are charged from 40 cents to $3.10 per transaction, with overnight discounts available. Bedalov said no issues have been reported since tolling began July 5. The western section goes from Lake Street, or State Route 20, east to State Route 83, according to The project also will have an additional ring road that will go around the west side of O’Hare International Airport and will connect Interstates 290 and 90. “The 390 portion, the east-west portion, is planned to be completed in 2017,” Bedalov said. “The 290 portion will go out many years after the 390 portion is complete – as far as 2025.” The entire Elgin-O’Hare Western Access Project is estimated to cost $3.4 billion, with a total length of 17 miles, according to Daniel Rozek, Illinois Tollway senior manager of communications. The Illinois Tollway operates and maintains approximately 286 miles of roads covering 12 counties in Northern Illinois.

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  • Posted: July 1, 2016

    Luxury rental development breaks ground adjacent to Hamilton Lakes Business Park in Itasca


    When you think of luxury rental developments, what do you picture? Modern apartment towers rising from the busy downtowns of major cities, right? That doesn’t have to be the case. The suburbs might not get as much press when it comes to new multifamily projects, but plenty of developers are bringing high-end rental units to suburban communities across the Midwest.


    This includes M&R Development, which in late May announced the ground-breaking of The Residences at Hamilton Lakes, a 297-unit luxury rental community in the Chicago-area suburb of Itasca, Illinois. The community, a joint venture between M&R Development, Hamilton Partners and Murphy O’Brien LLC, is expected to be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2017.

    Residences at Hamilton Lakes


    The community will include three four-story buildings offering a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. It will also feature more than 7,500 square feet of resort-style amenities. These include an outdoor pool, media room, high-end gym, business center and event space. There’s also a spa, sauna, steam room, pet spa and yoga/pilates studio. “Today’s renters want high-end amenities and finishes found in many downtown developments, but not everyone wants to live in a downtown high-rise,” said Anthony Rossi Sr., president of M&R Development. “This community fills a niche in the market, bringing that same luxurious metropolitan lifestyle to the west suburbs.” Each unit in the rental community will come with nine-foot ceilings, quartz countertops and hardwood floors, amenities typically found in high-end urban apartment developments. Kitchens will come with stainless-steel dishwashers, self-cleaning ovens and frost-free refrigerators. Tony Rossi Jr., executive vice president with M&R Development, said that the company decided about six years ago that the area adjacent to the Hamilton Lakes Business Park in Itasca would be the perfect home for a high-end rental development. That’s because the business park, which includes more than 3 million square feet of office space in addition to restaurants and two hotels, is located right near busy expressways connecting to Chicago. The business park offers plenty of office jobs, too, which will attract future residents of the Residences at Hamilton Lakes, Rossi Jr. said. “For a suburban rental development, you need good employment, good transportation options and close proximity to a commuter train station,” Rossi Jr. said. “We’d like to be right next to the train station, ideally. But not all developments can be right next to one. We are about 1.5 miles away, which is still close. There is also a Pace shuttle bus that goes through the business park. The bus can go through our rental property, too, when it opens to take residents to the train.” Construction crews began pouring concrete for the residences in early June, Rossi Jr. said. The developer says, though, that the Residences at Hamilton Lakes won’t be the last new luxury rental development in the Chicago suburbs. “There was a time, back in 1996 or so, when you saw big 300-unit apartment deals wherever developers could get zoning,” Rossi Jr. said. “You’d see these big multifamily developments in Aurora or Oswego. The last five years, there has been no real suburban rental developments to speak of. That is now starting to change. The tough part is that unless you are near an area with heavy employment or a train station that gives couples the option to have one spouse work downtown and another in the suburbs, you’ll still have a tough time getting these kind of developments financed.”


    Written by: Dan Rafter | Real Estate Communications Group | View Original Article

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  • Posted: June 28, 2016

    American Academy of Pediatrics moving to new HQ in Itasca


    Hamilton Lakes Business Park

    The American Academy of Pediatrics is moving its headquarters from Elk Grove Village to a 183,000-square-foot building in Itasca being constructed by Opus Group


    Minneapolis-based Opus said it will hold an official groundbreaking tomorrow on the five-story building in the Hamilton Lakes Business Park. AAP, which bought the 11.2-acre development site and hired Opus to build its new headquarters, will move into the building in fall 2017, Opus said in a statement. The professional group will vacate its longtime headquarters, a 106,000-square-foot building at 141 Northwest Point Blvd. in Elk Grove Village. About 480 people will work in the new building at 345 Park Blvd., which includes room for future growth. “The AAP's child health mission is unique, and our new headquarters will serve multiple functions as a home for the profession of pediatrics and our staff,” Dr. Karen Remley, AAP's executive director and CEO, said in the Opus statement. The new headquarters is one of the biggest built-to-suit office projects in the northwest suburbs over the last few years, and the latest involving a medical group. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recently moved into a new 165,000-square-foot headquarters in Rosemont, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists moved from Park Ridge to a new 70,000-square-foot office building in Schaumburg. Chicago architecture firm VOA Associates, now part of Edmonton, Alberta-based Stantec, designed the AAP's new building. The AAP plans to put its existing Itasca headquarters up for sale, said Roberta Bosak, its director of human resources and administrative services. "It's been our home for more than 30 years," she said. "We have just outgrown it." Eric Kunkel, executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle, and JLL Senior Vice President Scott Ohlander conducted the group's search for a new headquarters and will also handle the sale of the Elk Grove Village property, she said.

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  • Posted: June 17, 2016

    Command Alkon Inc. signs long-term lease at Oak Brook 22

    CBRE Arranges 11,195 SF Office Lease at Oak Brook 22


    Oak Brook 22


    The growing software company, which supplies integrated solutions for construction materials producers worldwide, will be consolidating two separate offices located in nearby Rosemont and Woodridge, to one centralized location. The company will relocate to the 3rd floor offices of Oak Brook 22 in June, 2016.


    Focusing on industry-specific hardware and software systems for producers, suppliers and haulers of ready-mixed concrete, concrete products, aggregate, asphalt, and cement, Command Alkon couples innovative technologies and over 37 years of industry expertise to deliver products and services that improve business operations in plants and quarries around the globe. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama with office locations around the globe. Jon Azulay, Corporate Managing Director of Savills Studley and Monty Harris represented the tenant, Command Alkon, in the transaction. The landlord, Golub, was represented by Pete Adamo, Bill Elwood and Tara Torbik of CBRE. The property, purchased by Golub Co. in 2014, has recently undergone renovations such as a redesigned lobby and lounge area, a new fitness center and a new conference center. According to Azulay, Command Alkon wanted a location that provided room for growth, was convenient to transportation and offered amenities employees could enjoy. With the ongoing improvements and upgrades to the complex, Oak Brook 22 provided a perfect solution.


    “Oak Brook allows Command Alkon convenient transportation options and close proximity to Midway and O’Hare airports, which is important for them as a global player,” said Azulay. “In addition to ample parking and other onsite amenities including a fitness center, conference facilities and a cafeteria, the property’s location is across from the Oak Brook Mall, hotels and several dining options.”


    The Class A building, formerly known as Oak Brook Executive Plaza, is located at 1211-1315 W. 22nd Street and is 95% leased. Watch the video below for more information on Oak Brook 22.



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