A Chinese power tool manufacturer is moving its North American headquarters to Naperville from Michigan, taking over an empty new building developed for a Swedish manufacturer.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Chervon North America has subleased a 124,000-square-foot building at 1203 E. Warrenville Road, according to people familiar with the deal. The company is the North American arm of Nanjing, China-based Chervon Holdings.
The company plans to bring more than 200 jobs over the next three years. It will relocate 75 workers from Grand Rapids and the Chicago suburbs of South Barrington and Geneva. Also moving there will be 37 employees who were added when Chervon completed its acquisition of Mount Prospect-based Robert Bosch Tools’ Skil and Skilsaw brands on January 1. The company also plans to hire 25 new workers this year and another 75 over the next three years.
The Naperville building along Interstate 88 was developed for Swedish manufacturer SKF Group, which planned to have offices and research and development there. Gothenburg, Sweden-based SKF signed a 15-year lease with suburban developers Daniel Murphy and William Krug but decided not to move there in 2015.
Instead, SKF sought a tenant to sublease the building. Murphy confirmed that Chervon is taking over the SKF space but otherwise declined to comment.
The Chervon deal is good news for the west suburban economy, bringing jobs to Naperville and filling one of several big empty spaces in the area. Though the suburban Chicago office market is as strong as it has been in at least 15 years, the former OfficeMax headquarters in Naperville is empty, and ConAgra recently vacated another Naperville office building when it moved its headquarters downtown. In nearby Lisle, Navistar International is seeking a tenant to lease at least half of its campus along Interstate 88.
It is not known how many people Chervon will employ in the Naperville building, or when it will move in. Chervon is expected to use the facility for offices and product development.
Chervon representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
SKF declined to comment through one of its brokers on the sublease, Cushman & Wakefield Senior Director Bruce Hopple. Another Cushman & Wakefield broker, Executive Director Lou Hall, represented Chervon in the deal.
Workers from several Chicago suburbs and from the current Grand Rapids headquarters are expected to move to the Naperville building, which will become the firm’s new North American headquarters, according to the people familiar with the lease.
Chervon makes power tools such as saws and drills, many of which are battery powered, with brand names including Ego and Hammerhead. It also makes outdoor equipment such as lawn mowers, blowers, trimmers and chain saws. Last year, Chervon bought the Skil tool brand from Mount Prospect-based Robert Bosch Tool.
Article originally published by: Crain’s Chicago Business | Ryan Ori