Village of Lombard Economic Incentive Policy Facilitates New Retail Developments

Sam’s Club and Bluestone Single Tenant Properties LLC Coming to Lombard

Advancing the Village’s goal to explore all options to bring new business activity to the Village’s business corridor, the Lombard Village Board approved two economic incentive agreements at their March 17, 2016 meeting. These developments are the first projects that are the result of the Village’s recently adopted Economic Incentive Policy. Continue reading

Pace Service Restructuring

Proposed service changes to improve regional connectivity and provide a more complete network to DuPage County and the region as a whole

The plan is designed to maintain a robust level of service in any areas where routes are being combined by adding trips and lengthening the span of service on the new combined routes.


DuPage Service Modernization Summary


Pace is excited to announce a plan to modernize bus routes in Downers Downers Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville and Woodridge. Any changes to the bus routes require a vote of the Pace Board and would take effect in June.


Highlights of the service improvements include:

  • 33% increase in the number of Metra trains met by Pace feeder routes
  • $1 million net increase in bus service
  • New service between Naperville and Lombard


Public hearings to discuss the proposed services changes


Pace is excited to announce a plan to modernize bus routes in southern DuPage County (Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville and Woodridge). Pace riders and stakeholders are invited to discuss proposed improvements to the bus route network at three public hearings. Pace staff will take input from this forum and, if necessary, update the planned changes. Any changes to the bus routes require a vote of the Pace Board and would take effect in June.


Public Hearings:


Tuesday, March 29, 2016 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Naperville Municipal Center 400 Eagle Street Naperville IL, 60540

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 5:00 pm –7:00 pm Lisle Village Hall, Board Room 925 Burlington Avenue Lisle, IL 60532

Thursday, March 31, 2016 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Downers Grove Village Hall, Council Chambers 801 Burlington Avenue Downers Grove, IL 60515

Click here for a full description of proposed changes.

Talent Trumps Cost as the Leading Driver of Real Estate Decisions

Study by: CBRE | View Study
Singular focus on cost is being challenged by new paradigm—“people, people, people”—as corporate executives increasingly view office environments as recruitment and retention tool 

A new survey of corporate executives underscores a major shift in how companies are making real estate decisions today, with more than half saying that talent now trumps cost as the top strategic consideration. Of the 229 executives surveyed by CBRE Group, Inc., 50 percent named talent availability as the foremost consideration in real estate decision-making, while only 31 percent named real estate cost as a top factor.


People and workplace experience are dominating the corporate real estate agenda, together with escalating costs, according to CBRE’s Americas Occupier Survey. Today, these two issues are driving real estate conversations; as a result, workplace strategy is increasingly being viewed as both a critical employee attraction and retention strategy (57 percent), and as a means to control costs. Further, of survey respondents, 85 percent cite space efficiency and restructuring as a top strategy for reducing occupancy costs. “With talent retention and cost management both so highly valued, yet clearly in conflict when jointly pursued through traditional means, it is more important than ever to explore new and innovative solutions,” said Julie Whelan, Americas Head of Occupier Research for CBRE. “What’s clear from this survey is that today’s corporate real estate executives must balance the new workforce desires with a realistic workplace strategy that brings talent and expense management into simultaneous focus.” Survey respondents indicated that their labor force—which is more generationally and ethnically diverse than ever before—places the highest importance on the desire for a great “work experience,” specifically the functionality of the workplace, freedom of work style and a sense of community. “Connectivity to the people and places needed to get the job done and freedom of choice in choosing when and how to work are the primary preferences of today’s labor force. Corporate executives are taking notice and prioritizing the workplace experience when making real estate decisions today,” said Karen Ellzey, Executive Managing Director, Global Workplace Solutions, CBRE. “We hear this conversation every day when working with our clients, but this survey confirms that there has in fact been a paradigm shift when it comes to the way companies view the role of real estate in their business.” Among the workplace attributes at the top of the priority list, survey respondents cited:

  • Connectivity to partners and suppliers (44 percent)
  • Flexible working (42 percent)
  • Flexible workspace (39 percent)
  • Provision of amenities (34 percent)
  • Indoor environmental quality (33 percent)
  • Public transportation accessibility (24 percent)


The corporate real estate executives surveyed also identified the critical areas still needed to answer the call of today’s target workforce. Among them are a commitment from the C-suite to empower and approve the delivery of a modern work environment – and with that, accurate, quality data to justify the strategy, and capital to implement. “This is not a space where corporate real estate departments can act alone. If the expectations of tomorrow’s labor force are to be met, a combination of HR policy changes, integration of IT advancements and adaptation of modern cultural and managerial practices are required to ensure workplace change is both functionally effective and financially sustainable for the long-term success of the organization,” added Ms. Ellzey.

Elmhurst College Skills for the Digital Earth

FREE 4-Week Online Course

Ever stop to think about how important location is when using your smart phone?

Elmhurst’s Skills for the Digital Earth MOOC explores why “where?” is vitally important to a myriad of disciplines in our digital world. Participants in the MOOC will learn what location technologies are used for, as well as fundamental geospatial concepts, skills and applications. Continue reading

Suburban Real Estate Market Strong Despite Uncertainty

Written by: Richard R. Klicki | Daily Herald

Moderator James Elsener, Daily Herald Business Ledger, leads the Newsmakers’ Forum discussion. Photo Credit: Brian Hill | Daily Herald Staff Photographer


Despite the uncertain economy and headlines of companies leaving the suburbs for downtown Chicago, the suburban commercial real estate market remains healthy, industry experts told local business leaders Thursday at the Daily Herald Business Ledger Newsmakers’ Forum on Construction and Real Estate. About 90 suburban leaders attended the event at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville. 


Art Rendak, president of Inland Mortgage Capital Corp. based in Oakbrook Terrace, said the suburban real estate market continues to go strong despite uncertainty in the economy. “The economy should be doing better than it is, obviously,” Rendak said, noting that low oil prices, mortgage rates and unemployment figures should be translating into a more robust economy.


However, he said suburban real estate, especially industrial and office properties, has been strong as companies grow and relocate to larger facilities. He noted the distribution industry has particularly risen as new facilities are being built locally to handle the growing demand.


“You just can drive from Wilmington, up (Interstate) 55 to Bolingbrook to see the tremendous growth of industrial,” Rendak said. “Especially if you’re outside Cook County, where the taxes are cheaper, you’re going to continue to see a lot of growth in the distribution sector.”

Bryan Gay, Choose DuPage


Bryan Gay, economic development director of Choose DuPage, noted DuPage County’s surge in growth in the number of businesses over the years. In 2015, he said, 900 new small businesses opened in the county.


“These small businesses are the lifeblood of DuPage County,” Gay said, “Since 2010, we’ve seen over 3,000 new businesses in DuPage County.”


He noted the small businesses are just as important as large companies, as they generate local jobs and invest in the communities they are in. He added that, of the 60,000 new jobs created in DuPage County since 2010, small businesses accounted for 60 percent of that growth.


All of the panelists spoke of the educated workforce that is a main draw to the suburbs for businesses, and Daniel Allen, executive director of the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO), added that the region also benefits from the educated construction workforce as well.


“Union contractors have the highest educated skilled workforce in the world,” Allen said, pointing to education apprentice programs that are funded through union contractors and employees and are created through collective bargaining agreements.


Allen was critical of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s right to work initiative, which he said would undermine the funding of the apprenticeship programs and lead to construction deficiencies created by unskilled workers.


“On the outside work may look good, but the lack and training and skills create ticking time bombs of public safety issues,” Allen said. “Most of the problems develop over the years after construction.


“The term ‘right to work for less’ is a misnomer,” he added. “It’s a policy that prohibits a union from negotiating security clauses with these small businesses.”

Any way you look at it, DuPage’s economy is thriving


By nearly any measure, DuPage County’s economy is thriving. Home to nearly 40,000 businesses and 700,000 jobs, DuPage County is a formidable economic force in the region. As a result, DuPage enjoys some very important and meaningful economic advantages. When we consider the issues that weigh on businesses everywhere (not just DuPage) such as the cost of doing business and the ability to recruit and retain top talent — it is these advantages that make the difference for businesses.


Location is among our most valuable, inherent advantage. Our proximity to O’Hare International Airport means that residents and businesses alike have direct, nonstop access to 200 destinations worldwide through 1,400 daily departures. We are in the midst of six interstate highways, making drive time to major markets convenient and cost-effective — with less than six hours drive to major Midwest cities. We enjoy the benefits of an extensive multimodal transportation network. Chicago is the nation’s rail hub that connects six of the seven Class One railroads. We have a highly-skilled and educated workforce — DuPage is first in the state in educational attainment. Nearly half our residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and over 90 percent are high school graduates. We have a business-friendly environment. Under the leadership of Chairman Cronin, DuPage County operates an accountable, efficient and transparent government — with a balanced and responsible budget. Unlike many other places, here you will find public and private-sector leaders working together to grow and expand the economy. And finally, as our nearly 1 million residents know, our quality of life is unmatched. This can be attributed to the county’s emphasis on education, culture, and environmental preservation. We have some of the best schools in the nation, including 19 accredited colleges and universities. We offer a wealth of opportunities to experience arts and culture, and our residents and visitors enjoy open spaces, tree-lined streets, and lush wooded areas that characterize our landscape. At Choose DuPage, the economic development alliance for DuPage County, we call this the DuPage Difference. It is what has allowed us to attract the variety of businesses that make up our diverse economy — from technology to manufacturing, retail, warehousing, health care, and more. These advantages, the DuPage Difference, has led to 118 economic development projects in the last year. That’s 1,500 jobs, 1.1 million square-feet of development, and 120 million dollars invested into our county. And, we are well positioned for continued success. In the upcoming year, Choose DuPage will continue to work toward expanding and diversifying the regional economy through actions that stimulate business investment and generate desirable job opportunities for our residents.

Samtec to Open Design and Development Center in Lisle

Samtec announces the opening of an interconnect design and development center in the Chicago, IL suburb of Lisle. This office is a critical element of Samtec’s future product development and technology roadmap, and recruitment for staff at this new facility is rapidly underway.


Selected for its central location and impressive electromechanical local talent pool, the Chicagoland office will join that ranks of Samtec’s Silicon Valley Optics Design Center, Pacific Northwest High Speed Cable Plant, Microelectronics Group in Colorado Springs, Advanced Interconnect Design Groups located on three continents, and Signal Integrity Group and Teraspeed Consulting in the northeast US. Skillsets spanning all of these areas of expertise are being sought for the Chicagoland office, to build a truly cross-functional and integrated team. Together, these technology centers develop products and services that address full-system challenges and offer strategic support at every level. The Chicagoland office, which is looking to immediately staff Product Design Engineers, Manufacturing Engineers, Signal Integrity Engineers, and an Engineering Manager, will be central to this effort in more than the geographic sense.


About Samtec


Founded in 1976, Samtec is a privately held, $626 million global manufacturers of a broad line of electronic interconnect solution blocks, including IC-to-Board/Ultra Micro, High Speed Board-to-Board, High Speed Cables, Future-Proof/Active Optics, Flexible Stacking, and Micro/Rugged components and cables. To meet the interconnect challenges of tomorrow and beyond, Samtec has developed unique Technology Centers to help optimize the entire signal transmission path… from the IC to the panel and beyond, and all points in between.

Top Lease Transactions of 2015

Transaction Data from JLL, NAI Hiffman, CenterPoint Properties



Top industrial Lease transactions of 2015


company namelocationsquare feet
Fellowes 2850 Duke Pkwy.  |  Aurora 499,154
Nippon Express USA 2580 Prospect Ct.  |  Aurora 410,000
Creative Werks 1350 Munger Rd.  |  Bartlett 400,000
H.D. Smith Medical 135-195 E. Elk Trail  |  Carol Stream 334,718
M&R Printing Equipment 440 Medinah Rd.  |  Roselle 319,885
Topline Furniture Warehouse 1321-1375 W. Thorndale Ave.  |  Itasca 310,916
PPG Industries 2760 Orchard Gateway Rd.  |  Aurora 304,560
DS Containers 2500 Enterprise Cr.  |  West Chicago 300,278
RR Donnelley 2707 Eola Rd.  |  Aurora 251,832
Maines Paper & Food Service 6405-6425 Muirfield Dr.  |  Hanover Park 241,423
Insight North America 1600 Hunter Ct.  |  Hanover Park 238,423



Top Office Lease transactions of 2015


company namelocationsquare feet
Exelon Generation Regional HQ 4300 Winfield Rd.  |  Warrenville 146,754
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt One Pierce Pl.  |  Itasca 110,000
Kellogg 800 Commerce Dr.  |  Oak Brook 79,828
Flexara Software 300 Park Blvd.  |  Itasca 77,000
Enterprise Recovery Systems 840 S. Frontage Rd.  |  Woodridge 77,000
Multi Plan 535 Diehl Rd.  |  Naperville 67,767
Glanbia Performance Nutrition 3500 Lacey Rd.  |  Downers Grove 67,743
Optimum Nutrition 3500 Lacey Rd.  |  Downers Grove 67,743
Robertshaw 1222 Hamilton Pkwy.  |  Downers Grove 50,000
NSA Media 3025 Highland Pkwy.  |  Downers Grove 50,000
Inland Real Estate Corp. 814 Commerce Dr.  |  Oak Brook 45,756

This list is intended to provide a snapshot of the lease transactions in DuPage County during 2015. While there were an abundance of lease transactions that occurred in 2015, the choice of which to feature here was determined partly on relevancy and availability.

DuPage County Workforce Survey Results


Choose DuPage and JLL recently conducted a survey to help better understand the needs and desires of the current workforce – including ideal workplace environments, amenities, transportation, and more. We were pleased to receive 1,600 responses, representing over 200 companies and 50 industries.


Overview of results

  • Business in DuPage is alive and well
  • Employees enjoy their workplace and the amenities in DuPage County
  • Transportation is a considerable challenge
  • Demand for office amenities is growing
  • Investment in properties and infrastructure will be critical for future growth


Key takeaways

  • Of those surveyed, 86% state they would prefer to work in DuPage County rather than downtown. In addition, 70% of participants are satisfied or very satisfied with the local amenities of DuPage County.
  • Transit options are limited. 87% of DuPage County employees drive alone to work every day. And, 53% of employees prefer to drive alone. The rest wish there were more transit options available.
  • 94% of DuPage County employees think that a reasonable commute is under 45 minutes. However, 46% of millenials are commuting longer than 45 minutes, and only 5% think this is an acceptable commute.


Click here to view the results. 


To learn more about commercial real estate in suburban Chicago, click here.