electric vehicles

Start Your Engines: Northern Illinois Emerges as an EV Powerhouse

Northern Illinois has long been a leader of science, technology and advanced manufacturing. Now, those fields are coming together to drive the region’s electric-vehicle (EV) ecosystem—a growing network of communities, manufacturers, institutions and suppliers dedicated to all things EV.  

The result is a win-win: an influx of jobs and investment for the region and an emerging powerhouse committed to building the future of sustainable technology.

Charged Up: Welcome to the EV Ecosystem

Governments and businesses around the world have committed to reducing carbon emissions and investing in more sustainable technologies. That includes Illinois, where the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act has the state on the road to 100% clean energy by 2045.

To deliver on these commitments and create a cleaner, more sustainable future, communities must reduce their reliance on fossil fuel-burning automotives. (The EPA estimates that transportation accounts for about 27% of U.S. emissions.) That means alternatives, such as EVs, must be made widely available.  

While a small portion of Americans currently drive electric vehicles, making EVs affordable and available to the majority of the country will require mass production, as well as investments in a new infrastructure to support EVs and advancements in the technologies that power them. EVs are coming, but first we must solve a massive logistical puzzle.

That’s exactly what’s happening in Illinois, where an ‘EV ecosystem’ has emerged to fuel the development and production of EVs. This ecosystem consists of six major factors:

  1. The regional supply chain, including businesses that manufacture EVs, batteries, semiconductors and other related technologies. Illinois is the fourth-largest auto employment base in the U.S., the #2 location for battery manufacturers, and #4 in number of locations that manufacture non-battery EV components.
  2. The policies that support EV-related investments, including subsidies, rebates and incentives through the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and the Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act. In Illinois, there are currently more than $70 million in capital funds earmarked for EV infrastructure projects.
  3. The research institutions that advance the economic and scientific development of the EV field. Two of the 17 U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories are located in the heart of Northern Illinois, DuPage County: Argonne and Fermilab. Argonne alone receives $1 billion in annual funding to advance U.S. battery research and manufacturing, as well as research into the EV-adjacent fields of semiconductors, material science, transportation systems, grid stability and security, clean energy generation, supply chain security, quantum computing and AI.
  4. The diverse talent pipeline that makes all of this possible. Home to some of the nation’s top engineering and IT and computer-science schools, Illinois’ EV workforce is projected to increase by 83% by 2024.
  5. A central location that enables mass distribution of EV products across North America. Northern Illinois is located in the middle of one of the world’s most connected rail networks and is home to several international airports and a robust system of navigable waterways.
  6. Strong local demand for EVs. Illinois is already home to 54,000 EV drivers and thousands of charging stations. That consumer base continues to grow as local drivers, communities and transportation organizations go electric.

On their own, each factor is critical. But it’s their unique combination that has made Northern Illinois a global hub for the EV industry, and businesses are taking notice.

Bumper to Bumper

While the rise of Illinois’ EV ecosystem can be traced to the region’s rich history of automotive production, the industry shifted into overdrive with the arrival of EV manufacturer Rivian.

In 2016, Rivian’s leadership team visited a shuttered Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. They were there to purchase equipment. However, once they arrived in Illinois and took stock of the region’s workforce and pro-business policies, they changed course and purchased the plant. With backing from investors including Amazon, Ford and Cox Automotive, Rivian expanded their Illinois operations and went public in November 2021. Today, the company employs 3,700 workers and is one of the world’s biggest EV producers.

Attracting Rivian was itself a big win for the Illinois EV industry, but it was only the beginning.   

In 2021, as Rivian’s first electric truck rolled off the assembly line, Canadian manufacturer Lion Electric Company announced that it had selected Joliet in Will County, Illinois as the site of its U.S. manufacturing facility. When production begins in late 2022, Lion’s 900,000-square-foot facility will produce up to 20,000 zero-emission buses and trucks each year.

These vehicles will be essential to helping communities across the country decarbonize transportation systems. Their production, meanwhile, will bring more than 1,400 jobs and over $130 million to Joliet.

Next in line was Merkur, a manufacturing performance and product-development firm. They opened a new office in DuPage County, Illinois to be closer to Lion and the regional EV ecosystem.

“We want to be where our customers are; it’s as simple as that,” said Jonathan Levesque, Director of Business Development and USA Market at Merkur.

“Northern Illinois has several key advantages for us. It’s a major hub for the industries we serve: transportation, manufacturing, aeronautics and agri-food. Plus, its central location and international airports make it easy for us to reach clients and suppliers across the country and around the world. When our client Lion moved here, it was an easy decision to open an office in Downers Grove.”

“What I love about this story is that it shows how attracting the right business brings more businesses,” said Doug Pryor, President & CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development.

“First there was Rivian, then Lion, then Merkur. Now, we have more companies in EV and related sectors looking to invest. It’s all because of regional collaboration; working together, we made a strong cluster to support future economic growth. We created the conditions that allow these businesses to thrive.”

Fueling the Movement

A short drive from Merkur and Lion – you could easily visit all three on a single charge – is Argonne National Laboratory. One of 17 U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories (and one of two in DuPage County), Argonne is approaching the challenge of building an EV infrastructure on multiple fronts.

The first is economic. There are currently about 52,000 public charging stations across the U.S. That might sound impressive, but to meet growing demand and facilitate the widespread use of EVs, the country must build hundreds of thousands more.

The good news is that there is a large pool of federal funding – $5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – marked for new charging stations. However, to access this funding, states must first demonstrate the potential economic benefits of new stations.

Identifying and gathering the right data can be difficult. That’s why scientists at Argonne developed a free online tool (JOBS EVSE) to help states estimate the economic impact of charging stations. Using the tool, state representatives and others can determine the cost of installing and maintaining new stations. They can compare that cost to the total value in sales that the stations are projected to generate, as well as the estimated number of jobs that will be produced during construction and management.

The Consumer Angle

While Argonne is helping states access funding to build charging stations, they are also working to help electric vehicle drivers of the future spend less time at the (electric) pump.

Currently, a pit stop at a charging station can take 30 minutes or more, much longer than it takes to pump gas. Scientists at Argonne are working to narrow that gap. In partnership with several other national laboratories, they are developing batteries and charging technologies designed to speed-up recharging to 15 minutes or less, while enabling batteries to hold higher densities of energy for longer charges.

Faster charging and longer battery life are more than just convenient. Shorter lines at the pumps enable widespread adoption of EVs, while faster charging makes electric trucks more feasible for the fast-moving supply chain.

“I think it’s fair to say that every car company views fast charging as the ‘killer app,’” said Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS) in a recent post on Argonne’s website. “We are reaching a stage where electric cars and trucks must charge fast — it’s not a nice-to-have.”

Meanwhile, another DuPage County organization, ComEd, is also approaching the EV challenge from a consumer angle. Buying an electric vehicle for the first time can be intimidating. To make the process more approachable, ComEd recently released the EV Toolkit, a digital resource that provides helpful information on savings, benefits and incentives for consumers purchasing EVs, as well as an overview of EV brands and models, rate options and charging locations.

“Mass consumer education is critical,” said Jennifer Morand, Co-President of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association in a ComEd press release. “The EV customers of yesterday can’t be compared to today’s EV buyer, which is why resources like ComEd’s EV Toolkit are pivotal for this next phase of EV adoption.”

Supercharged: The Future of EVs in Northern Illinois

Give it a few years, and you could be riding a bus manufactured by Lion Electric in Joliet, produced under the guidance of Merkur in Downers Grove, powered by a battery using technology developed at Argonne, and built using parts sourced from suppliers across the region.

That’s the vision of Northern Illinois’ EV ecosystem: to create a diverse and comprehensive regional supply chain, where producers can source nearly all of their supplies locally. For the region, that would mean more jobs and a more stable and efficient supply chain, while generating tax revenue for local communities.  

While the Northern Illinois EV ecosystem has already begun to achieve this vision, there is still room to grow.

In particular, there is a high demand for regional producers of batteries and semiconductors. Today, batteries, the most valuable component of electric vehicles, are almost exclusively produced in China, Japan and Korea. (For comparison: in 2020, China had 93 battery-producing mega-factories. The U.S. had four.) Semiconductors, another essential component, are also widely produced overseas.

As a result, domestic EV manufacturers often must source essential components from overseas operations. As the global supply chain has become increasingly volatile, there have been numerous production delays, shortages and rising material costs.

Local, state and national governments are working to change that. New federal programs like CHIPS and the Science Bill offer semiconductor producers billions in subsidies to invest stateside. Meanwhile, Illinois is targeting battery and chip manufacturers through aggressive incentive programs, while communities across Northern Illinois continue to draw investors from across the supply chain to the region’s emerging electric vehicle ecosystem.

“Whether you’re making the vehicle itself, the battery, the chip, or the many other components that go into developing EVs and the EV infrastructure, we want you here,” said Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage, the economic development organization of DuPage County.

“We have the workforce, the suppliers, the incentives and the location. Most importantly, we have the mindset. Our communities believe that sustainable technology is the key to a better future. We’re here to make it.”

Economic Indicators Report DuPage County

Economic Indicators Report: Q3 2022

The Choose DuPage Economic Indicators Report is published on a quarterly basis. It is intended to provide a snapshot of the current state of the local DuPage County economy.

Q3 Economic Indicators Report Highlights:

  • DuPage County’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3%. 
  • Total employment in DuPage County is 625,642. 
  • Top industries by employment are healthcare and social assistance, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services. 
  • The office vacancy rate increased to 16.9%. 
  • Industrial vacancy rates continued declining to a historic low of 2.8%. There is currently 3.3 million square-feet of industrial space under construction in DuPage.

Access the full report here

 

Office lease

Naperville’s largest 2022 office lease: M/I Homes relocates to CityGate Centre

M/I Homes has joined Calamos Real Estate’s roster of tenants at CityGate Centre, leasing 26,699 SF of Class A office space at 2135 CityGate Ln., the unique, modern building at the corner of Rte. 59 and Ferry Rd. Naperville city officials say the lease represents the largest office-only lease in the west-suburban city this year. And while M/I Homes only moved into its new space in September, it quickly was recognized among The Smartest, Sleekest & Healthiest Workplaces in DuPage: 2022, by Choose DuPage.

In addition to Class A offices, the mixed-use CityGate Centre offers retail, restaurant, health services, luxury hotel and newly constructed luxury apartment rentals.

M/I Homes has been building homes for more than 40 years in more than a dozen U.S. markets and began building in the Chicago area roughly 15 years ago. Its regional Chicagoland headquarters was nearby, on Diehl Rd. in Naperville before its recent move to CityGate Centre.

While some companies have re-fit office space to new off-site and hybrid work models, M/I Homes’ move is designed to bring all of its distinct services – homebuilding operations, design, mortgage and title – to a single location, enhancing collaboration and streamlining the customer experience. More than 120 employees from across its services are at the CityGate Centre office.

“We wanted to keep the headquarters in Naperville, it has such a great sense of community,” said M/I Homes Area President Rick Champine. “We serve customers throughout the Chicago Metro Area and CityGate Centre offers convenient access from the north, south, east and west.”

Beyond additional square footage to bring his operations together and highway travel convenience for his customers, Champine also wanted to offer an experience reflecting M/I Homes high-quality brand.

“It’s more than people just being in the same space, it needs to be the right space,” he said. “The Calamos property is a mirror image of what we want to exude: Its well-maintained, high quality, safety and security features, and its community attributes come together very well to complement our own high-quality building and customer experience approach.”

Calamos Real Estate Associate Vice President Chris Landis says since early 2020 the kinds of spaces and amenities businesses are seeking has changed, and it’s up to brokers and property managers to recognize and respond to those needs.

Among changes Calamos Real Estate quickly made in response to the pandemic was the installation of Global Plasma Solutions NPBI™ ionized clean air system in its office buildings during the first half of 2020. The system is validated to perform against viruses and bacteria without producing harmful levels of ozone or other byproducts, increasing safety for its tenants while staying true to its Green building commitment.

“This type of installation responds to concerns about personal safety and about environmental impact and sustainability,” said Landis. “And while we’ve seen that people can work off site, that’s not the best-case scenario for all companies or all employees. There’s still a need for colleagues to collaborate and an increasing desire for a defined start and end to the workday that coming to the office offers.”

At CityGate Centre, the best attributes of an urban neighborhood – walkable access to fine dining along with casual fare; green space; a Forbes-rated, AAA Four Diamond hotel; healthcare, spa & fitness facilities; new, luxury apartments; and easy access via the state and interstate highway systems – are together in a pristine, suburban setting. The mixed-use campus provides the ample parking, food options, workout facilities and more that tenants are looking for.


About M/I Homes

M/I Homes is one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, building new homes of outstanding quality and superior design for more than 40 years. Founded in 1976 by Melvin and Irving Schottenstein, the company has fulfilled the dreams of over 140,000 homeowners. M/I Homes started as a family business and grew into a national leader in a single generation with divisions in 15 markets including Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, San Antonio, Sarasota and Tampa.

About Calamos Real Estate LLC

Calamos Real Estate LLC, a subsidiary of Calamos Property Holdings LLC, is focused on real estate activities throughout the United States, including acquisitions, development opportunities and joint ventures. The firm’s flagship development, CityGate Centre in Naperville, is a unique mixed-use development offering superior leasing opportunities for corporate and commercial tenants, as well as property management services of the highest caliber.

Gebruder Weiss

Gebrüder Weiss relocates USA headquarters to Wood Dale

Gebrüder Weiss, a family-owned international transport and logistics company with a core business of overland transport, air, and sea freight and logistics, has relocated its USA headquarters to Wood Dale, Illinois. The new facility accommodates the global logistics organization’s rapid North American growth with 16,000 square feet of office space and a 45,000 square-foot warehouse. Located at 1020 N. Wood Dale Road, the expansion of Gebrüder Weiss USA’s head office accompanies the organization’s fifth year in the region.

“As demand for custom international supply chain solutions continues to surge, and businesses’ efforts to nearshore increase, we’re dedicated to scaling our North American operations to efficiently meet our customers’ needs,” said Mark McCullough, CEO of Gebrüder Weiss USA.

Despite ongoing inflation and potential economic challenges, Gebrüder Weiss expects gains in retail, e-commerce, automotive, pharmaceutical, and high-tech industries. Sophisticated advancements in security concepts, digitalization, technical distribution, the flight to re-shoring or nearshoring, and the demand for continuous improvement in supply chain logistics are all driving growth.

“Events of the past few years, including the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have put exceptional pressure on our customers’ supply chains,” McCullough continued. “Our work is not merely shipping and freight forwarding; it’s developing 360-degree solutions across the supply chain, from warehousing to procurement to distribution to international security.”

Globally, Gebrüder Weiss employs more than 8,000 people across 180 locations. As the world’s longest-operating logistic organization, the organization is committed to maintaining its industry leadership position while growing responsibly with sustainable business practices across economic, environmental, and social pillars.


About Gebrüder Weiss 

Gebrüder Weiss Holding AG, based in Lauterach, Austria, is a globally operative full-service logistics provider.  The family-owned company employs nearly 8,000 people worldwide and boasts 180 company-owned locations. North American locations include headquarters in Chicago and offices in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, El Paso, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Developing and changing with its customers’ needs during its extensive history, Gebrüder Weiss is also a pioneer in sustainable business practices, having implemented myriad ecological, economic, and social initiatives. The company’s focus on custom solutions and a single point of contact provides customers with an exceptional service experience and reliable and economical solutions.

Gebrüder Weiss
1020 N Wood Dale Rd
Wood Dale, IL 60191
usa@gw-world.com
www.gw-world.com

DuPage County Trade Apprenticeship Expo

DuPage County Trade Apprenticeship Expo

Shining the Light on the Skilled Trades, PowerForward DuPage Hosts Trade Apprenticeship Expo

PowerForward DuPage recently announced the return of the DuPage County Trade Apprenticeship Expo. The event features interactive, hands-on demonstrations by the county’s building trade organizations as well as opportunities to meet with instructors to learn more about each individual apprenticeship program.

“It’s our opportunity to throw open the doors and invite everyone to come in – residents, students, post-graduates, parents, guidance counselors, teachers – to learn what each trade is about,” said PowerForward DuPage Executive Director Karyn Charvat. The expo, sponsored by the DuPage County Building & Construction Trades Council and Construction Industry Service Corporation, will be held at the IBEW Local 701 Union Hall, home to PowerForward DuPage.

The expo started in 2018 when Charvat noticed a gap forming in the construction trade industries.

“With the baby boomers retiring, they are really leaving quite a gap in the workforce,” she said. “And realizing younger generations don’t necessarily have the interest in the trades that other generations before them once did, we knew there needed to be some external effort, on behalf of all the trades.”

The event is free to attend but requires online registration at PowerForwardDuPage.com.

WHO: DuPage residents, students, post-graduates, parents, guidance counselors, teachers

WHEN: Thursday, November 10th, 3:30pm – 6:30pm

WHERE: IBEW Local 701 Union Hall 28600 Bella Vista Parkway Warrenville, IL 60555


About PowerForward DuPage

PowerForward DuPage acts as a professional partner for businesses, developers, contractors, individuals and municipalities to further excellence and growth in the electrical contracting industry. Visit powerforwarddupage.com for more information.

 

Offices in DuPage County

The Smartest, Sleekest & Healthiest Workplaces in DuPage: 2022

When is a workplace more than just a place for work?

By transforming their offices into collaborative environments and impactful customer experiences, businesses across DuPage County are making us rethink the modern workplace—and even work itself.

These are eight of DuPage’s smartest, sleekest and healthiest workplaces in 2022.

Flavorchem SRS Center for Taste Innovation

Downers Grove, IL | Flavor/Ingredient/Innovation

Flavorchem

Flavorchem Flavorchem

Located on the campus of the company’s global headquarters, the new SRS Center for Taste Innovation gives Flavorchem customers a boutique experience—encouraging innovation, collaboration, and experimentation with trending foods, beverages, flavors and ingredients.

And while the work is focused on tastes and scents, the workplace itself delivers an unforgettable sensory experience.

As you enter the building, you step into an open marketplace. Modeled after trendy urban food halls, the sights, smells and flavors immediately get you in the right mindset. Grab a snack and a coffee, then head to the building’s expansive R&D kitchen, the dedicated pilot plant, the Flavor Lab, or a sensory room for blind and controlled testing. Later, after a long day of working with new products and technologies, you can unwind in one of the premium guest suites.

What makes the SRS Center for Taste Innovation special is that it combines the functional aspects of flavor innovation – state-of-the-art equipment, machines and capabilities – with a matching aesthetic experience. In addition to the urban food hall-style marketplace entrance, there are four specialized application centers including one modeled after a vintage bakery, another that feels like a trendy bar, and a confectionery-centric application center that seems like a place where Willy Wonka would feel right at home.

Get an inside look at the SRS Center for Taste Innovation.  

Architect/Design Team: Lauren Sahs, Designer; Brian Campbell, PM; Matt Meives, Architect.

About Flavorchem: From humble beginnings, Flavorchem has grown to incorporate two business divisions and four global campuses. Today, the family-owned enterprise manufactures over 5,000 flavors, fragrances, and private-label food products annually.

Fun Fact: Announced in 2020, this 25,000-square-foot facility was built on a warehouse affectionally called the “Boneyard,” where old equipment and furniture was stored.


Sassetti Headquarters

Oak Brook, IL | Accounting/Finance

Sassetti

Sassetti Sassetti

Birthday cakes are nice, but Sassetti decided to celebrate 100 years of business with something better—a beautiful new headquarters.

Stepping into the accounting firm’s Oak Brook office today, it’s hard to believe that it was a blank canvas just over a year ago. In summer of 2021, Sassetti began building their new office with a simple goal: to create a space where their team could feel happy and productive.

Today, it seems like they’ve done just that. With natural light and pops of color setting the mood, the 9,500-square-foot office brings together collaborative workspaces, meeting rooms and focus areas, giving employees the flexibility to work how they want, where they want.

Architect/Designer: Dawn Newman, Newman Architecture

About Sassetti: Started in 1921, Sassetti LLC is a CPA firm providing tax strategy, accounting support and assurance services for closely held business owners, family run companies, individuals, not-for-profit organizations and SEC-regulated entities.

Fun Fact: Newman Architecture, the firm behind Sassetti’s new office, has designed a number of recognizable buildings across DuPage, from the Girl Scouts of America’s Camp Greene Wood in Woodridge to the Warrenville Public Library. 


REMPREX Headquarters

Lisle, IL | Logistics, Technology and Data Solutions

Remprex

Remprex Remprex

REMPREX promises to take their clients into the future. When you step into the Remote Operations Center (ROC) of their Lisle facility, it almost feels like you’re already there.

Built in 2020 in Lisle’s Olympian Office Center, the ROC is the centerpiece of the company’s new 33,693-square-foot headquarters. From the real-time TV wall – which makes the ROC feel like a NASA control room – to the custom switchable glass of the executive boardroom, the entire facility feels designed to get you in a future-focused mindset, while amenities like a large lounge with a training room prioritize employee wellness.

From their sleek, high-tech headquarters, REMPREX leverages data insights, human-assisted technology and decades of first-hand experience to help today’s clients think like the businesses of tomorrow.

Architect/Design Contributors: The Interior Design Group LTD (IDG); Larry Dohrer, Architect; Diane Hansa, Designer; The Missner Group, Management.

About REMPREX: Founded in 2006, REMPREX creates customized operating solutions by combining a broad suite of value-added services for intermodal terminals to improve on safety, service levels, cost control and facility capacity. In addition to their Lisle headquarters, the company has locations at more than 80 rail, port and transportation facilities across North America. 

Fun Fact: The designers of the REMPREX facility worked hard to incorporate the brand into nearly every aspect of the facility, from floors that feature REMPREX colors to wall art that showcases the company’s reach.


The Shuman

Naperville, IL | Class-A Office Building

The Shuman Naperville Office Space

The Shuman Naperville Offices Office space in Naperville Shuman

While major cities are known for offering some of the most luxurious working environments, the Chicago suburbs have turned the tables. In recent years, a number of offices have appeared across DuPage that rival the best of their urban counterparts—proving that you can have a luxury workspace close to home.

One of the most striking examples? The Shuman in Naperville. Purchased in 2018 and renovated in 2019, this 350,000-square-foot space has been reinvented as a socially activated, multi-tenant, class-A office building. Here, there’s no such thing as an ‘ordinary’ workday. From the five-story, light-filled atrium to the state-of-the-art gym and the rotating selection of Chicagoland restaurants, the Shuman delivers a truly luxurious experience centered on collaboration, community, health and wellness.

Explore the Shuman’s high-end amenities and urban-inspired workplace experience.

Design/Renovation: Franklin Partners

Fun Fact: Want to practice your swing? Head to the Shuman Open, an on-site golf simulator open for year-round play. 


M/I Homes Chicago-Area Headquarters

Naperville, IL | Homebuilding

DuPage workplaces

As one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, M/I approaches homebuilding with the idea that every square foot must serve a purpose.

M/I applied that same principle when moving their Chicago-area headquarters to CityGate Centre in Naperville, an office where every square foot (all 26,669 of them) serves a purpose.

Representing Naperville’s largest office space move in 2022 thus far, the new space brings together all of M/I’s core services, from homebuilding operations and design to mortgage and title. By bringing these services under one roof, the company can enhance collaboration among its workers and streamline the customer experience.

The new office’s focus on health helps employees feel right at home. In response to COVID-19, Calamos Real Estate installed an ionized clean-air system in the building that houses M/I’s office. This state-of-the-art filtration system eliminates harmful viruses and bacteria from the air without producing harmful levels of ozone or other byproducts, allowing employees to breathe easy while staying true to M/I’s sustainability commitment.

The new location is also key to acquiring and retaining talent. Located among the communities where many of their employees live, CityGate Centre offers employees and customers access to shopping, dining, health services, a luxury hotel and luxury apartment rentals. Learn more about CityGate Centre’s Class A office spaces and amenities.

Architect: Ron Walker, EWP Architects

About M/I Homes: Founded in 1976 by Irving and Melvin Schottenstein, M/I Homes has fulfilled the dreams of over 140,000 homeowners and grown to become one of the nation’s leading homebuilders.

Fun Fact: All of the attributes you see on the “We Wall” (pictured above) were submitted by M/I associates.


Norix Headquarters

West Chicago, IL | Design & Advanced Manufacturing

Norix Industrial Office Space

Top Workplaces in DuPage

For Norix, a leader in the design and production of furniture for healthcare, corrections and other challenging environments, sustainability is front and center. Now, the company’s new corporate headquarters in West Chicago is bringing that value to life—inside and out.

Much like M/I Homes’ new Naperville office, the Norix corporate headquarters in West Chicago consolidates the company’s core services under one roof. Here, products are manufactured, assembled, packaged and stored alongside a showroom for customers and the company’s corporate offices. This allows Norix to streamline their operations and improve collaboration, while inviting customers and employees to join in their commitment to sustainability.

The new building and campus embody that commitment. Located within the 800-acre DuPage Business Center, the 22-acre Norix campus is inspired by the natural prairie that existed prior to the industrial park’s development. That comes with some perks; the landscape’s natural grasses and wetlands require less mowing—less herbicides and fertilizers, too. Meanwhile, paved surfaces are designed to filter stormwater back into the ground, reducing the need for irrigation.

Then there’s the building itself. Designed according to LEED Gold standards, the 205,563-square foot headquarters is mostly powered by clean-energy sources – including on-site solar panels – while features like double-paneled insulated curtain glass and sunshades reduce energy consumption. Powered by clean energy and immersed in natural light, the Norix team integrates green manufacturing principles into their design and production, including product lines made with recycled materials.

That commitment to nature and sustainability extends to the employee experience, with outdoor patios, walking paths and natural interior lighting helping workers feel connected to nature. In-house showers encourage employees to bike to work, while preferred parking spaces are reserved for carpoolers and fuel-efficient vehicles.

Learn more about Norix’s Green Policy.

Architect Team: Heitman Architects

About Norix: Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Norix designs innovative, robust furniture that meets the real-world need for humanizing challenging environments. 

Fun Fact: Heitman Architects, the team behind the new Norix headquarters, has designed more than eight million square feet of LEED-certified industrial buildings, including the first of its kind in Illinois.


P4 Operations Center

Downers Grove, IL | Private Security/Crime Prevention

P4 Companies

P4 Companies P4 Companies Top Workplaces

In the security industry, information is everything. And at the state-of-the-art P4 Operations Center in Downers Grove, information from thousands of sources – cameras, alarms and other sensors – comes together to help the company provide some of the best security solutions in the business.  

P4 provides security for thousands of clients, from schools and hospitals to government officials and even large-scale events. And while they employ thousands of on-site officers in Illinois and elsewhere, their Downers Grove Operations Center functions as the organization’s eyes and ears.

From here, operators tap into real-time data and coordinate with security officers to monitor their clients’ locations and assets, prevent potential crimes, and respond to emergencies. Operators can even lock and unlock doors and perform talk-down procedures to help de-escalate situations hundreds of miles away. The Operations Center also enables P4 to provide cost-effective alternatives to traditional officer staffing, including remote alarm response, video monitoring and other off-site solutions, giving P4 the flexibility to serve a wider variety of clientele. 

In addition to the command center, the 11,000-square-foot Operations Center is also home to P4 Academy, a training facility where security officers take courses in subjects like Emergency Management, Tactical Training and Human Resources Training.

Designed By: P4 President and CEO Lawrence A. Doria

About P4: A locally focused security company supported by state, national and global resources, P4 provides on-site and remote security services for corporations, governments, schools, hospitals, private individuals and others.

Fun Fact: The P4 team recently worked with local police to help prevent a potential car theft at a Chicago-area dealership. Read more about it here.


Venture X Oak Brook – Chicago 

Oak Brook, IL | Shared Workspace

VentureX offices in oak brook

VentureX VentureX

In 2021, businesses and professionals everywhere were grappling with new hybrid-work models (and many of us still are).

Meanwhile, Venture X was building a solution.

With more than 28,000 square feet of space and 80 private offices, Venture X Oak Brook – Chicago is a shared workspace designed for today’s hybrid working models. Flexible, adaptable and featuring all the amenities a team of up to 10 employees might need, the space is designed to accommodate work in all its forms.

Need a quiet place to focus? Step into a turn-key private office with sound suppression. Want to host an event? There’s a space for that. Need to pull the team together for a brainstorm? Head to an on-demand meeting room.

While Venture X provides tenants with the privacy and security they need, it also brings them together as a community. During and after the workday, tenants can relax, mingle and collaborate in a variety of shared spaces—from a café with gourmet coffee and tea to a wellness room, member lounges, and a large, fully furnished outdoor terrace. Venture X also regularly hosts events to help professionals network, meet potential business partners, and share best practices across industries.

Explore the space and take a virtual tour here.

About Venture X Chicago – Oak Brook: Built in 2021, Venture X is a locally owned and operated workspace providing flexible terms, turn-key private offices, event space and on-demand meeting and desk solutions. Private offices can accommodate individuals or teams of up to ten employees, and members are welcome to retrofit their office to suit their needs.

Fun Fact: As a tenant at Venture X Chicago – Oak Brook, you get access to all of Venture X’s locations around the world, from Canada and Mexico to Dubai, India and more.


Keep Exploring the Offices and Workplaces of DuPage County

Workplaces in DuPage County

DuPage is home to a diverse ecosystem of businesses from a variety of industries. Over decades of growth and evolution, this ecosystem been nurtured by our diverse workforce (more than 640,000 strong), our education system, our regional supply chain, our pro-business policies, and the high quality of life that helps us attract top talent.

With that economic growth has come a flourishing office market, where local businesses are introducing bold innovations that turn their ‘workplaces’ into collaborative environments, social spaces and impactful customer experiences.

Want to see more of DuPage’s smartest, sleekest and healthiest workplaces? Take a look at our 2021 list here and our 2020 list here.

ComEd Recognized as National Utility Leader in Attracting Jobs, Investment to Region

 Electric utility ranked among top 1 percent of all American utilities for reliable and clean energy infrastructure 

 ComEd has been recognized again for its leading role in supporting economic growth and job creation across northern Illinois, according to new rankings by Site Selection Magazine, which named ComEd as one of the Top 20 utilities in economic development. Selected from more than 3,300 electric companies across the country, ComEd is among the top 1 percent of all utilities in attracting new businesses, jobs and investments. 

“Companies continue to invest in northern Illinois thanks to the unparalleled access to clean, affordable and reliable power that is essential for meeting the demands of today’s digital economy,” said Gil C. Quinones, CEO of ComEd. “With industry-leading reliability fueled by our investments in grid modernization, ComEd’s service territory is attracting investment from some of the most innovative and exciting industries in the nation. We are committed to continuing the grid investments needed to transition to a clean energy future and power growth of Illinois companies that bring jobs and opportunity into the communities we are proud to serve.” 

This marks the ninth year ComEd has earned the recognition – a testament to the company’s strong record in delivering clean, reliable and affordable power for 9 million people and businesses in the region, including some of the world’s largest companies. Last year alone, ComEd helped launch 16 new commercial projects – with commitments to invest $3 billion locally and create 4,700 new jobs. 

 “Just as utilities’ generation and distribution portfolios turn toward renewables and smart technologies, the economic developers at Top Utilities like ComEd are helping their communities pursue sustainable growth by cultivating the flow of smart capital and talent,” said Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection. 

The magazine attributes ComEd’s investments to enhance grid infrastructure and promote reliable, clean energy service as key factors that are driving jobs and new business to Illinois. This includes: 

Reliability

ComEd has a key role to play in powering business, as it continues to make the investments necessary to enhance resiliency in the face of climate change, improve safety, and achieve new technology needs in an increasingly clean energy economy. These investments are paying off: ComEd’s overall reliability has improved 79 percent since investments began in 2011, avoiding more than 18.6 million customer interruptions and producing more than $3 billion in savings, including avoided business losses. ComEd’s industry-leading reliability performance continues in 2022, with the company providing its highest reliability on record for the first half of the year, and record storm restoration time amid an uptick in severe storms. 

Clean Energy Access

In support of Illinois’ goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, ComEd is working closely with a growing developer community to increase access to clean and affordable solar energy in the residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors. Since the community solar program launched, subscribers have grown substantially – from 700 in 2016 to nearly 30,000 residential customers today. 

ComEd offers C&I customers a Distributed Generation (DG) Rebate of $250 per kilowatt of installed solar energy, which helps offset the out-of-pocket costs of installing a qualified renewable energy generating system. In the past four years, ComEd has provided close to $94 million in DG rebates to expand solar projects in northern Illinois. 

EV Expansion

ComEd has also proposed a Beneficial Electrification (BE) plan which commits $300 million over the next three years to help remove barriers to beneficial technologies, including electric vehicles (EVs). A mix of rebates and programs will help communities and customers advance toward clean transportation goals as outlined by the State of Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) law, which seeks to put 1 million vehicles on the road by 2030. The plan also includes technical assistance for businesses with customized fleet assessments, and a new rate delivery class that would help large business customers offset the upfront costs of installing EV charging infrastructure at scale. 

Affordability

ComEd continues to expand programs that help customers save on energy, while keeping monthly bills among the lowest in the nation. ComEd customer bills today are in line with the past several years, and next year’s average bills are expected to remain below those of the 10 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Recently, ComEd’s energy efficiency program hit a critical milestone, saving northern Illinois communities a total of over $7 billion on their electric bills – including nearly $3 billion in savings for businesses – since 2008. 

Workforce Development

To prepare communities for a clean energy future, ComEd is expanding workforce training programs that prepare more diverse, local workers with clean technology skills. Last year, more than 1,700 local residents participated in job training programs sponsored by ComEd, including programs to prepare residents for overhead electrical, construction and solar careers. These programs have a strong job placement rate, with close to 75 percent or more hired upon completion. 

“Access to reliable, affordable, and increasingly sustainable energy is key to companies making location decisions,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “We’re pleased to see ComEd recognized for its commitment to economic development in Illinois.” 

“We congratulate ComEd on news that it is recognized as a national leader in economic development by Site Selection Magazine,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago, Chief Marketing Officer, City of Chicago. “This recognition is well deserved and testament to ComEd’s long-term commitment to the Chicagoland region, strong performance and innovative energy efficiency programs, all of which are vital to helping local businesses thrive.” 

“ComEd’s track record on reliability, resiliency and affordability has been vital to the growth of our region, and will play a key role in driving economic investment and jobs here for many years to come,” said Will County Center for Economic Development CEO, Doug Pryor. “Businesses know that ComEd provides industry-leading reliability, low and stable pricing, business-focused energy efficiency programs and renewable energy solutions that are critical to businesses aiming for long term sustainability. This provides businesses confidence knowing that when they choose Will County and northern Illinois, they’ll remain competitive in an ever-changing climate.” 

ComEd’s year over year investments in grid modernization continue to drive new business to the area. This includes strong growth by sectors like data centers, logistics and manufacturing, all of which depend on a high volume of clean energy to power local operations and customers served around the world. 

To read the 2022 Top Utilities Ranking story by Site Selection magazine, click here. 

Crown Castle DuPage County

Crown Castle Joins Choose DuPage Board of Directors

Choose DuPage is pleased to announce Crown Castle has joined the Choose DuPage board of directors. Crown Castle, located in Downers Grove, designs and builds solutions for their clients’ unique connectivity needs. They own, operate and lease more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 85,000 thousand miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. Market.

“Joining the board of Choose DuPage is a commitment to advancing our region,” said Greg Bedalov, president and CEO of Choose DuPage. “We are excited to work with Crown Castle and our other private and public-sector leaders to promote DuPage as a premier global business location and support our local business climate.”

“We are thrilled to be joining Choose DuPage and their mission to make DuPage County a premier location for those who both work in and call the area home,” said Crown Castle Public Affairs Manager Renee Morales. “Our infrastructure connects communities to essential data, technology, and wireless service – bringing information, ideas and innovations to the people and businesses that need them. As new technologies continue to advance, we look forward to bringing connectivity to the region, ensuring DuPage County remains a strategic location for businesses to thrive.”   

Click here to view a full list of board members.

Endotronix

Endotronix Announces Expansion of U.S. Headquarters in Naperville, Illinois

The company is constructing a new commercial manufacturing facility and anticipates expanding its workforce to support the launch of its comprehensive patient management platform for heart failure

Endotronix, Inc., a digital health and medical technology company dedicated to advancing the treatment of heart failure (HF), today announced plans to relocate and expand their headquarters in Naperville, Illinois to support the full U.S. commercial launch of its Cordella™ Heart Failure System and Pulmonary Artery (PA) Sensor, pending pre-market approval (PMA) of the sensor by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The new building will significantly increase Endotronix’s manufacturing and operating capacity, allowing for a 30% workforce expansion as well as continued growth opportunities in the years to come. In addition to the U.S. office, Endotronix will maintain their European office in Ireland.

“This is an exciting time for Endotronix. As we approach full enrollment in our PROACTIVE-HF clinical trial, we are looking ahead toward scaling our manufacturing and operations in anticipation of commercialization of our proactive digital heart failure system,” stated Harry Rowland, CEO of Endotronix. “Naperville offers an ideal location to plant our roots, offering a skilled workforce, affordable quality of life for our employees, desirable proximity to Chicago, and strong sense of community.”

Headquartered in the Chicago-land area since 2013, Endotronix recently signed a lease for an 80,000+ square feet facility that will more than double their current footprint. The new facility is located in the HUB 1415 building (1415 Diehl Road, Naperville, IL) and is currently undergoing custom enhancements to include a state-of-the-art cleanroom, manufacturing, quality, and administrative space. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in early 2023 with hybrid workspace specifically designed to accommodate a flexible workforce. The company is represented by Newmark.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Endotronix to Naperville,” said Steve Chirico, Mayor of Naperville. “As a fiscally-sound, business-friendly community that provides an unparalleled quality of life to its residents, we are a premier destination for growing companies like Endotronix. We look forward to being the home of their expanded commercial manufacturing and operations.”

The safety and efficacy of the company’s novel Cordella PA Sensor is currently being studied in a global investigational device exemption (IDE) clinical trial called PROACTIVE-HF that is on track to complete enrollment in the coming months. In addition, the company recently announced positive clinical data for the Cordella Sensor from the European SIRONA 2 clinical trial that was presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s Heart Failure Association (HFA) in May.

About Endotronix

Endotronix, Inc., a medical technology company, delivers an integrated platform that provides comprehensive, reimbursable health management innovations for patients suffering from advanced heart failure. Their solution, the Cordella™ Heart Failure System, includes a cloud-based disease management data system and at home hemodynamic management with a breakthrough implantable wireless pulmonary artery pressure sensor for early detection of worsening heart failure. Learn more at www.endotronix.com.

The Cordella System, without the sensor, is available for commercial use in the U.S. and E.U. and is currently in cardiology centers across the U.S. The Cordella PA Sensor is currently under clinical investigation and is not currently available for commercial use in any geography.

Glenn Mazade Named Private Sector Co-Chair of Choose DuPage Board

Choose DuPage is pleased to announce Glenn Mazade, senior vice president at Old National Bank, 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. Mazade will serve as elected private sector co-chair for a two-year term.

“There are nearly 90,000 businesses in DuPage County that represent almost 620,000 jobs. Having an organization like Choose DuPage focusing on the retention and expansion of these businesses, while also attracting new businesses, is critical to the success of DuPage County,” said Mazade. “I’m proud to be working alongside public- and private-sector leaders to advance DuPage County as a premier global business location.”

Mazade has been with Old National Bank since 2019. Based in the Westmont office, he focuses on assisting family-owned, closely held businesses and organizations reach their financial goals. In addition to his involvement with Choose DuPage, Mazade serves on the Board of Directors for Metropolitan Family Services and Co-Chairs the Woodridge Neighbors Helping Neighbors Disaster Recovery Organization.

“As public sector co-chair of Choose DuPage I am pleased to work with Glenn Mazade to support economic growth in our region. Glenn has demonstrated his commitment to Choose DuPage and our economic development efforts for many years, including being integrally involved with our Small Business Relief Programs and strategic planning. Glenn’s knowledge and experience will be a significant asset to Choose DuPage and will greatly benefit our business and government partners,” said The Honorable Dan Cronin, chairman of the DuPage County Board and public-sector co-chair of Choose DuPage.

Mazade assumes the position of private-sector co-chair following Hugh Elliott, a principal shareholder at Dugan + Lopatka CPAs. Elliott served as private-sector co-chair for two years from 2020-2022.

In addition to Mazade being named private sector co-chair, Karyn Charvat of PowerForward DuPage has been named private sector vice chair; Mike Roth of Ice Miller LLP has been named secretary; and Suzanne Pittacora of Corterra Solutions has been named treasurer. To view a full list of board members, click here.