Graybar Electric Inc. leases 32,000 SF of office space at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca

Hamilton Lakes Itasca IL

Hamilton Partners recently announced that Graybar Electric Inc., a Fortune 500 company that specializes in supply chain management services and is a leading North American distributor of high-quality components, equipment, and materials, has leased office space in Hamilton Lakes in Itasca, Illinois. As a leading distributor of electrical, communications, data networking and security products, Graybar helps its customers power, network, and secure their facilities with speed, intelligence, and efficiency. 

Graybar will be occupying 32,174 Square Feet, a full floor at One Pierce Place. One Pierce Place is located in the center of Hamilton Lakes Business Park, positioned between lakes and the 3 mile walking path. The location offers proximity to I-290, I-390 and O’Hare International Airport. 

Graybar Electric was represented by Jason Simon, of Colliers International. One Pierce Place, owned by Balfour Pacific & Hamilton Partners Inc., was represented by Patrick McKillen of Hamilton Partners. 


Hamilton Partners Inc., is one of the nation’s leading privately held commercial real estate development companies. The company is headquartered in Itasca, Illinois and has regional offices in Buffalo Grove, Downers Grove, Salt Lake City, Utah, Phoenix, Arizona, and Denver, Colorado. Hamilton Partners has full-service management offices in 15 additional locations throughout the Chicago area. Over the past 34 years, the company has developed over 39 million square feet and continues to own numerous prestigious and financially successful, commercial office, industrial, and retail projects. 

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

Endotronix

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.

Planning a Business Expansion? We can help.

business expansion

Planning a new business expansion in Chicago or the greater Chicago region? Looking to relocate to the DuPage County area? Choose DuPage can provide expert guidance, key resources and valuable business connections to help you navigate the challenges of business development.

Located just west of Chicago, DuPage County is a global hub for a diverse range of industries and sub-sectors, from data centers and logistics to advanced manufacturing, healthcare, food processing and more.

Now, small businesses, start-ups and large corporations alike are choosing DuPage to relocate or expand their business, and Choose DuPage is helping them make it happen

Why DuPage?

DuPage offers businesses a variety of benefits, from a strong talent pipeline to a collaborative business climate, a strategic location, and more.

At a time when businesses around the world are struggling to navigate their supply chain and get ahold of the materials they need, DuPage is strategically located at the center of a global cargo gateway.

Here, millions of tons of cargo move through three nearby international airports (O’Hare, Midway, and the DuPage Airport). DuPage is also located near the nation’s largest inland port, the busiest railroad hub in the U.S., and a highway system that connects businesses in Chicagoland with cities across the Midwest market and beyond. DuPage’s location makes it easier for businesses to access goods, customers, and vendors along the supply chain.

Meanwhile, as businesses compete for talent, DuPage offers one of the nation’s leading talent markets. Our strong workforce ecosystem and seamless talent pipeline are built on national-caliber educational institutions and a diverse economy, as well as organizations and programs that help connect employers to workers.

With more than 640,000 workers in DuPage with a diverse range of skills and educational attainment levels – plus the nearby Chicago talent pool – businesses in the region have access to the workforce they need.

In addition to a strategic location and a strong workforce ecosystem, DuPage offers tax incentives for expansion, as well as low commercial property taxes, close proximity to millions of consumers across Chicagoland, and opportunities to connect with other businesses in a collaborative environment.

The challenge of expansion and relocation

Although it’s often the result of a business’ growth, the process of expanding or relocating to a new area is often one of a business’ greatest challenges.

Whether it’s a start-up that’s expanding its customer base or a well-known corporation opening a new customer service center, most businesses must eventually expand or relocate.

To do so, they may have to purchase new assets, open new units, hire and train additional staff, develop new marketing strategies, move their business to a new location, or add additional square footage to a current location. Expansion or relocation requires a major material investment and a number of difficult decisions, and success ultimately comes down to good planning, solid data and insights, and some help from those who know the market best.

Many businesses struggle to expand or relocate not because they lack the will to do so, but because they don’t have the right knowledge, resources and local connections. Expansion often requires training new employees, finding a location to expand their operations, and connecting with vendors and other businesses in the area along the supply chain—and that requires deep knowledge of the local market.

Before a business expands or relocates, they should strive to understand the market in which they are doing business. They should research local market conditions to understand where their sector is heading, whether the area has the workforce to support their business, and how the regional economy is expected to perform in the future.

Unfortunately, most start-ups and small businesses don’t have the time or resources to thoroughly research the area in which they are expanding. Even for larger businesses, finding reliable, relevant data and building connections within the local supply chain is often difficult.

How Choose DuPage can help

Choose DuPage is an alliance of DuPage County’s public and private sector leaders, representing a wide range of industries and interests within DuPage. Together, we are committed to helping our region and our business community thrive.

As local insiders and experts in the DuPage and greater Chicagoland region, we have the resources, connections and expertise to connect you with incentive programs, help you find the right location for your business, and use reliable, relevant data to understand the region’s economy and business climate.

Industry-Sector Reports: Plan smarter with valuable insights and key data points on your market.

Understanding the present and projected future conditions of a local market is critical to successfully expanding within or relocating to a region.

How is the market expected to perform over the coming years? What is the current state of the workforce for your subsector? How can you connect with vendors, suppliers and other businesses along your supply chain?

Choose DuPage can provide a detailed industry-sector report with critical information about factors like workforce, supply chain, and the overall business climate in DuPage for your industry.

Site Selection Assistance: Work with a local expert to find the right space for your business.

When relocating to a new area, selecting the right location can ultimately determine a business’ success or failure. However, if you are unfamiliar with the area, choosing the right site can be difficult.

It helps to have an expert with a local perspective. At Choose DuPage, we have a deep understanding of the area’s commercial real estate market, and we can help you find a space that suits your needs.

Commercial Collaboration: Learn from peers and connect with businesses along the supply chain.

We offer a variety of opportunities for commercial collaboration, including classes, seminars and networking events. These meetings and events help connect you with other businesses in your industry and along the supply chain, as well as organizations along the talent pipeline that can help you recruit and develop your workforce.

Specialized Resources and Incentives: Access programs designed to help you achieve your goals.

From not-for-profit organizations providing training and consulting services to angel investment programs for start-up business expansion in Chicago and the Chicago area, DuPage businesses can access a wide range of resources and incentives to help achieve their goals. Learn more about these programs on Choose DuPage’s resources page.

Get in touch with Choose DuPage.

For more information on expanding or relocating your business in DuPage County, contact us at info@ChooseDuPage.com.

ComEd Reaches Highest Levels of Reliability as Severe Weather Events Challenge Power Grids

Investments have helped prevent more than 17 million customer outages since 2011 

 ComEd in 2021 delivered some of its highest levels of year-over-year reliability as a result of power grid investments such as smart switches that reroute power around potential problem areas, new storm hardening and vegetation management solutions, and cable replacement. Since grid improvements began in 2011, overall reliability has improved 68 percent. ComEd has avoided more than 17 million outages for customers, saving more than $3 billion in outage costs. 

Utilities must continue to invest in the power grid to address severe weather and rapid increases in renewable energy and electric vehicles. ComEd has proven itself as a national leader in the use of advanced technologies to benefit its customers and communities and ensure the region remains competitive. 

“To meet the needs of our customers, ComEd continues to modernize the grid to deliver the reliable power that our customers and communities need to live, work and succeed in a 21st century economy,” said Terence Donnelly, president and chief operating officer of ComEd. “In the face of increasing and more intense weather events, our investments have enabled ComEd to reach new heights of reliability while laying the foundation for future technologies that expand renewables and support Illinois customers and communities as we transition to a clean energy economy.” 

Grid investments have provided customers reliable power but have also paved the way for ComEd customers to realize the full potential of digital grid technology, providing access to more clean energy options like solar, wind and more. At the same time, ComEd’s rates today are among the most competitive in the nation: Average residential rates are 17 percent lower than the 10 top U.S. metro areas, and average commercial rates are 18 percent lower than the top 20 U.S. metro areas. As a percentage of residents’ median income, ComEd’s residential electricity cost is nearly the lowest in the country. 

“Investments we’re making in the grid are already helping us reduce the number and duration of customer interruptions,” said Donnelly. “As we invest in technology that brings more renewable energy to the grid, we can both reduce emissions while improving the resiliency of the system.” 

In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that outlined the widespread, rapid and intensifying impacts of the climate crisis due to fossil-fuel emissions. The report called out the need for the electric grid to be more resilient because it is often the last line of defense for residents and businesses.

In addition to producing strong power reliability, Illinois’ competitive electricity supply market helped to attract significant business expansion across ComEd’s northern Illinois service territory. In 2021 alone, ComEd’s Economic Development Team helped support the launch of 16 new industrial projects representing 548 MW of new committed capacity-enough to power 155,000 homes. These new projects will collectively support 4,700 new jobs and $3 billion in investment for the region. 

“Reliable and clean energy are great assets to Illinois and top priorities for companies making location decisions,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “ComEd’s investment in infrastructure is key to bringing business to the state.” 

For industrial warehouses, DuPage offers prime location

industrial warehouses

In 2017, U.S. consumers purchased about $424 billion in ecommerce goods.

By 2021, demand had nearly doubled, with $767 billion in annual sales.

And by 2025, demand will nearly double again, with annual sales expected to surpass $1.3 trillion.

In terms of demand, it couldn’t be clearer where ecommerce is heading. Experts anticipate that demand will continue to rise for the foreseeable future as online retailers like Amazon further expand their reach and consumers increasingly opt for at-home shopping experiences.

What’s somewhat less clear is how retailers will keep up. In order to meet consumer demands – particularly for services like rapid shipping – online retailers rely on a vast network of industrial warehouses to store product and move goods. Nowhere are these industrial properties more necessary than dense urban areas, where the majority of the nation’s consumers live. And nowhere is the market for industrial space more competitive.

One of the nation’s largest markets is Chicagoland. With more than 10 million residents in the Chicago metropolitan area, the market is huge, and so is the potential for online retailers. However, opening a warehouse in the densest areas of Chicago can be unfeasible, due to cost or logistical complications. That’s why many retailers have turned to suburbs within the metro, such as DuPage County.

DuPage County’s strategic location amid the Chicagoland market

Located just west of downtown Chicago, DuPage County has long been a regional hub for transportation, as well as corporate headquarters, regional office spaces, education, science, technology and advanced manufacturing, among other industries. But in recent years, following ecommerce trends, DuPage has become a popular hub for industrial warehouses, used by retailers to serve Chicagoland’s vast consumer base.

Hence DuPage County’s industrial vacancy rate, which, as of January 2022, was at a historic low of 3.2%.

For online retailers, part of DuPage’s appeal is its proximity to the Chicago area’s massive consumer base. Using the area’s seven major interstates, retailers can quickly and efficiently move goods to any of the 10 million residents in Chicagoland. They can also access 28 of the top 30 cities in the Midwest within an eight-hour drive.

In addition to highways, DuPage is also uniquely positioned to take advantage of the region’s transportation infrastructure. The area is home to three international airports, including Midway, the DuPage Airport, and O’Hare, the top U.S. cargo airport based on value of shipments.

Meanwhile, the region is also home to the nation’s busiest rail gateway – fifty-percent of all U.S. rail freight passes through Chicago’s rail system by way of DuPage County – as well as the nation’s largest inland port, the Centerpoint Intermodal Center.

Besides the transportation infrastructure, industrial buildings for rent in DuPage benefit from a lower cost of doing business – you can view local tax rates here or take a look at the region’s latest economic indicators report – a large skilled workforce, and a collaborative environment in which businesses along the supply chain work together, along with public leaders, to support one another and create mutually beneficial outcomes.

Finding industrial real estate in DuPage

With all the benefits we mentioned above, DuPage has become a prime location for industrial warehouses. And that has resulted in a record-low vacancy rate.

While it’s a mark of a healthy economy, a low vacancy rate can make it tough for businesses to find new industrial land, industrial buildings for sale, or industrial buildings for lease. (One of the few industrial lots in DuPage currently available is at the DuPage Business Center, a 640-acre space with business sites for sale or build-to-suit from five to 60 acres.)

Fortunately for businesses, more space is set to open soon. There are currently 3.4 million square-feet of new industrial space under construction in DuPage County, as developers across the region quite literally lay the groundwork for the future.

To learn more about transportation, logistics and warehousing in DuPage County, start here.

Collaboration is in the DNA of Downers Grove

Celebrating more than 15 years of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation, we look back at the values that built Downers Grove and continue to define it today. 

It all started with the ox.

In 1835, three years after the area’s first settler arrived in what would become Downers Grove, Pierce Downer set out to build a trail. He wasn’t alone. Since arriving, he had been joined by Israel Blodgett and Samuel Curtiss, a pair of settlers who purchased nearby land – at a cool $1.25/acre – where they established a farm and a blacksmith shop.

That morning, the men gathered in the forest to lead a team of oxen. The animals were strapped to a giant log. As they pulled it forward, the log slowly transformed the trail, flattening and widening it. By the time their work was finished, the homesteaders had built a new trail linking their properties to another path: a main thoroughfare that ran from Naper Settlement (Naperville) all the way to Chicago. Things would never be the same.

At the time, it may not have looked like much – a handful of men and oxen dragging a log through the forest – but by building this trail, the settlers connected their tiny village to the rest of the region, laying the groundwork for more people and businesses to move to the community. It was a strategic move.

It was also the area’s very first collaborative economic-development project—though far from the last.

“Collaboration and strategic planning are at the heart of good economic development,” says Michael Cassa, President and CEO of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation (DGEDC). The organization, a public-private collaboration that spearheads efforts to attract and retain businesses in Downers Grove, celebrated its 15th year in 2021. 

“The most sustainable and meaningful growth occurs when you have everyone – from both the private and public sectors – moving in the same direction, working to realize a collective vision. We help establish that vision and guide the community towards it.”

The DGEDC is the culmination of a long history of collaboration and strategic planning in Downers Grove. Years after Pierce and his fellow settlers built their new trail, the people of Downers Grove would once again work together – along with leaders of surrounding communities – to lobby the Burlington Railroad Company to build a railroad from Chicago to Aurora. Opened in 1864, the railroad spurred further population growth, as well as the area’s first industrial operations.

In the decades that followed, the public and private leaders of Downers Grove continued to lobby on behalf of their community and guide the area through times of transition.

In the mid-twentieth century, a pair of major tollways were constructed along the village’s northern and western boundaries: a highway in 1958 that would later become I-88, along with I-355 in 1989.

Much like the railroad, these tollways caused major economic expansion in the community. But it was the strategic planning of local business leaders and public officials that made this growth smart, sustainable, and beneficial to the various stakeholders of Downers Grove—residents, visitors, workers and businesses alike.

Then, in 2006, a group of community leaders founded the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation. A spiritual successor to the many collaborations that transformed Downers Grove from a sleepy village to the diverse and thriving economy it is today, the DGEDC brought together public and private leaders to work collaboratively and strategically.

It couldn’t have come at a better time. In the 2000s, market trends were shifting, e-commerce was rising, and the global economy was entering a new age of volatility. It was time to work together and think strategically. 

Today, one of the DGEDC’s biggest responsibilities is guiding Downers Grove through the economic changes occurring both within and beyond its borders.

Nowhere is there a faster and more dramatic transformation than in the retail market.

Driven by shifting consumer trends and the rise of e-commerce, retailers are hungry for strategic locations for their distribution centers and warehouses. They need locations that are close to their customers, close to a good workforce, and close to a solid transportation network.

Downers Grove hits all three marks. The community is located within a 30-minute drive (or a quick train ride) of 1.4 million qualified workers. Thanks to the two major tollways that border Downers Grove, goods can be quickly and efficiently shipped to customers anywhere in the Chicago region or beyond.

Much like the groups that lobbied for the railroad in the 19th century and capitalized on the new highways of the 20th, the DGEDC works to identify opportunities for businesses to build or expand in Downers Grove, then promotes the community’s advantages to target companies. They also work with the Village of Downers Grove to attract these businesses through incentive programs and infrastructure investments. Meanwhile, the group coordinates the many active projects within Downers Grove to ensure that each one fits into the big picture—the community’s vision for the future.  

The impact of DGEDC’s work is three-fold:

First, you have stories like Bridge Point Downers Grove. The development, which now features three buildings with more than 100 docks and nearly 700 parking spaces, is now home to two Amazon warehouses, as well as a Cooper’s Hawk Winery distribution center.

Today, the location seems like an obvious fit for distribution. It’s just over a mile from I-355 and three miles from I-88. That means distributors can quickly and efficiently get their products to customers, and e-commerce retailers can deliver time-sensitive services like one-day shipping.

“When we began seeing these new trends in industrial real estate and e-commerce, we realized that Downers Grove was in the perfect location,” says Nick Siegel, a Partner at Bridge Industrial, which developed Bridge Point Downers Grove as a joint venture with Banner Oak Capital Partners.

“Here, our tenants have the transportation network, the workforce, the diverse economy, and a community they really love.”

And yet, only a few years ago, the site was a vacant, 74-acre plot with a functionally useless facility. It was only through the collaboration of public and private leaders that the site was identified as a prime location for e-commerce retailers and others, then marketed to developers and potential tenants. DGEDC and the Village saw the site’s potential, they saw how it fit into the big picture, and they worked together to bring it to life.

Bridge Point’s story mirrors other e-commerce-related developments happening in Downers Grove, many of them impacted by the collaborative work of the DGEDC and the Village of Downers Grove. In addition to Bridge Point, Downers Grove has welcomed a number of new distribution centers – ranging from 24,000 to 170,000 square-feet – for businesses like Bridge Industrial, Remedi Senior Care, Thyssen Krupp and Green Bay Packaging, among others. Behind each of these developments, there’s a story of collaboration.

But the story of Downers Grove and the DGEDC is bigger than any one industry—even one as impactful as online retail.

Historically, the community has been defined by a large, diverse group of small and mid-sized businesses. (That includes brick and mortar retail, which, although evolving, continues to account for more than 80% of all U.S. retail sales.) Since the development of the tollways that border Downers Grove, the community has welcomed a number of corporate headquarters and regional offices, from Rexnord Corporation, which recently completed their new 248,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and Aerospace Division Headquarters in Ellsworth Business Park, to Flavorchem, which just opened a 25,000-square-foot innovation center at Oak Grove Commons Business Park.

While newer markets are key to the area’s growth, it’s the legacy industries and businesses that form the basis of its diversity and resiliency. A central part of the DGEDC’s mission is to support these businesses by lobbying on their behalf, marketing them to visitors, helping coordinate expansion and new investment, and promoting business-friendly policies, such as the community’s historically low commercial taxes.

Finally, there’s downtown Downers Grove—an area that’s critical to the community’s appeal to residents, visitors and businesses. Over the last few decades, the Village and the DGEDC have spurred investment in the area through promotion and innovative programs. In 1997, the Village established a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in the downtown area. (A TIF allows a government to invest in public infrastructure and other improvements up front, then pay for them later with tax revenue generated by the project.) The program resulted in $48M in public improvements and, over the same period, $161M in private investment.

As the Village and the DGEDC led efforts to promote the downtown’s revitalization, the area saw a wave of new multi-family residential developments—including Opus Development, a new apartment complex that will soon break ground in downtown Downers Grove. Meanwhile, a mix of new restaurants and shops have sprung up: Bar Chido, Cadence Kitchen, The Foxtail, Gia Mia, Pierce Tavern and Wasabi, to name a few. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DGEDC played a critical role in supporting businesses like these and connecting them to key resources. 

As you can see, much of the work of the DGEDC is about the future: the future of the community’s businesses, its historic downtown, its visitors and residents, and its position in the world of e-commerce.

At the same time, the values that guide the community today are the very same ones that drove its first settlers to build that trail all those years ago.

“Of course no one knows exactly what the future will bring,” says Cassa. “But I can tell you that we will build our best future so long as we continue to work together and think strategically.

“In Downers Grove, that’s what we’ve always been about.”


About the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation 

Since 2006, the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation has spearheaded efforts in the village to attract new businesses and developers, while retaining legacy businesses and expanding promising developments. As the community continues to grow and transform, the DGEDC board orchestrates public-private collaboration, helps businesses navigate change, promotes business-friendly policies, and coordinates the smart, sustainable growth of the diverse Downers Grove economy.

Learn more about the organization here.

CNC Swiss chooses DuPage County for location and workforce advantages

CNC Swiss

When CNC Swiss Precision Machining was looking to expand their ISO certified, swiss-style machine shop, they knew they wouldn’t have to look far to find a facility that would fit their needs. The company, which has been in DuPage County since its start as a one-machine shop in 2007, recently moved into a new 30,000 square-foot facility in Bloomingdale.

Over the years the business has grown from one machine to 30 and now employs 23 people with plans to hire even more. As a provider of complex precision machined parts for a variety of industries, CNC Swiss requires a vastly diverse set of skills from their workforce. This is, in part, what’s kept the company in DuPage County.

“Our new facility in Bloomingdale not only meets all of our machine shop requirements, but it’s allowed us to create an environment where our workforce can flourish, a place they are proud and happy to be in,” said Jay Boryscka, co-owner of CNC Swiss. “As the company continues to grow, we can draw on DuPage’s central location and diverse workforce to help fuel that growth.”

For more information on CNC Swiss Precision Machining, visit www.cncswiss.com.

Tax incentives, other advantages make DuPage a ‘Goldilocks zone’ for data centers

When selecting sites for new data centers – facilities that house the computer servers responsible for powering today’s digital networks – companies must search for a ‘Goldilocks zone’ of conditions.

From affordable, reliable energy to a workforce that can keep the equipment running, everything has to be just right.

Now, a recent report ranks the Chicagoland region (including DuPage County) as the world’s second-best market for data centers, just behind Northern Virginia and ahead of the likes of Silicon Valley and Dallas-Fort Worth. Over the past several years, the region has leveraged its existing strategic advantages with new state sales tax incentives to create optimal conditions for data centers, and the world is taking notice.

It’s a data world—we’re just living in it.

Unless you’re in the industry, chances are good that you’ve never actually been inside a data center—most of us haven’t. At the same time, the servers housed in these facilities impact nearly every aspect of our lives.

From the Netflix series we binge on Friday nights to the files we download from our employers’ servers on Monday morning, much of the data we rely on every day is processed and stored within data centers, along with more sensitive information such as proprietary corporate data, financial assets, government files, and medical information. Virtually every modern business and government office relies on vast quantities of data. Data centers house this information, allowing clients to access it quickly and securely.

And data usage is only growing. As we integrate new technologies within our society – more advanced AI, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and 5G service, not to mention Facebook’s recently announced ‘multiverse’ project – we are building a world that is increasingly reliant on data.

Which is to say, a world that is increasingly reliant on data centers.

Today, companies cannot build data centers fast enough. Often, these businesses have clients lined up to use their services before they even break ground. At the same time, data centers are complex investments that require high volumes of capital; the majority of projects cost more than $250 million. With that much money at stake, as well as their client’s trust and security, companies are understandably picky when it comes to where they invest in new data centers.

locations for data centers

What makes DuPage a top choice?

As the demand for real-time data transmission reaches an all-time high, the DuPage region has emerged as a prime location for data centers. A recent report from Cushman & Wakefield names the Chicagoland region (including DuPage) as the second-best market for data centers globally. That ranking comes as, over the past five years, DuPage has seen a 3.4% growth in data centers, with more projects in the works.

What makes the DuPage region a leading choice for data centers boils down to a mix of strategic advantages, including:

  • State and local tax incentives. Due to 2019 legislation, qualifying Illinois data centers are exempt from paying state and local taxes on equipment over a 10-year period, making the state a major draw for the sector. The same legislation provides a tax credit of 20% of wages paid to construction workers for projects located in underserved areas, spurring economic growth within these communities.

    Experts say that these tax incentives – which make Chicago one of the most affordable national markets for data centers – will cause an uptick in leasing activity, as major cloud companies invest in the area. Illinois is also one of a few states that does not assess a personal property tax, another financial advantage.

    While this incentive draws companies to the Chicagoland region, DuPage has the additional advantage of low property and sales taxes.
  • Access to affordable, reliable and renewable energy. “Every business relies on energy, but for data centers it’s mission critical,” said Ed Sitar, Manager of Economic and Business Development at ComEd, which provides electric power to the Chicagoland region.

    To host and protect their clients’ assets, data centers depend on having access to energy at all times. And since these businesses require large volumes of energy, they need that power to be not only reliable, but affordable and clean.

    ComEd, which is ranked among the top 10% of energy companies in the nation for performance reliability, provides highly reliable energy for customers at a rate that is among the most competitive in the U.S.

    In addition, Illinois has the sixth-lowest electricity-generated carbon emissions in the country. Businesses here can obtain 100% renewable energy options through the competitive supply market, helping them reach their sustainability goals.

    Illinois, already the sixth-largest wind energy-producing state, recently passed legislation that sets the state on a path for 100% renewable energy by 2050.
  • “Free cooling.” One of the greatest challenges of operating a data center is keeping servers cool. These devices are running all day, every day, and they tend to overheat. Due to the DuPage region’s northern climate, companies can pump outside cold air into their facility for much of the year, enabling them to cut back on energy usage. This gives the region an advantage over other popular markets in warmer climates.

  • An extensive fiber network. Data centers rely on a robust infrastructure of fiber optics, as well as other utilities. While facilities in other locations, particularly rural areas, often have to build this infrastructure from the ground up, DuPage already has it—enabling tech companies to reduce the time and cost of construction and get their facility running sooner.

  • Access to a massive talent pool. DuPage has a large and diverse talent pool living and working within the community. Many local companies also draw talent from Chicago, which is right next door. An extensive public transportation system makes commuting to and from the city easy.

  • Access to a highly skilled and diverse construction workforce. Building a data center is complicated and labor-intensive, requiring a large local workforce with specialized skills. And, as demand for data services grows exponentially, projects tend to run on a tight timeline.

    As regions across the nation experience labor shortages – particularly in construction – many lack the skilled workforce needed to complete these projects quickly and efficiently.

    DuPage is a different story. The region is home to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 701 and the DuPage JATC, a joint apprenticeship training program between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the IBEW. Through this collaboration, professionals are equipped with the latest construction techniques in state-of-the-art training environments. In turn, contractors can draw on this highly skilled labor to build the next generation of data centers.

    “DuPage is fortunate to have a strong union labor-management collaboration including world-class training centers, where contractors have access to building trades persons who learn the latest construction techniques,” said Dan Allen, Executive Director of the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO). “As a result, the data centers are built to precise specifications to house these mission-critical components. The availability of skilled union contractors, the skilled union workforce that they employ, and next generation of electrical workers currently being trained, puts DuPage County in a most favorable position to continue to attract these types of projects for years to come.”

  • A minimal risk of natural disasters. In many regions, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters pose a serious threat to data centers – which often contain sensitive, irreplaceable data – a threat that is expected to intensify in the coming decades. A centrally located community in Northeastern Illinois, DuPage offers a safe location with a minimal risk of natural disasters.

  • Desirable amenities. DuPage features a beautiful network of nature parks, a thriving cultural and arts scene, and world-class dining and entertainment, as well as attractive living spaces and nationally ranked schools. These amenities help local companies attract and retain high-caliber talent.

  • A global transportation network. Three nearby international airports – O’Hare, Midway and the DuPage Airport – plus several major highways, make it easy for staff and clients to travel to and from practically anywhere in the world. In addition, DuPage is offering businesses unprecedented access to O’Hare through the Western Access Initiative.

data center tax incentives

How do data centers benefit our communities?

DuPage offers a number of benefits for the owners and operators of data centers, but how do data centers benefit DuPage?

While data centers are often criticized for failing to bring large numbers of permanent jobs to communities, that hasn’t been the case in DuPage—and it likely isn’t the whole story in other communities that are home to these facilities.

The majority of data centers in DuPage employ 25 to 100 full-time workers; in order to receive Illinois’ state and local tax breaks on equipment, centers must employ at least 20 full-time workers and the jobs must pay at least 120% of the given county’s median wage. And studies show that these high-paying jobs often generate many more jobs within the community.

According to a 2018 study by research firm RTI International, data center jobs have a ‘multiplier effect’ on the local workforce: “For every one data center worker, there were five jobs supported elsewhere in the economy by operating expenditures—after the surge in jobs caused by capital expenditures.” (This study was funded by Facebook and focused on its U.S. data center fleet. Its findings were consistent with a different 2018 study funded by Google and focused on European markets.)

In other words, data centers generate long-term job growth within communities, well beyond the construction contracts and other short-term jobs related to the initial investment. According to the RTI report, every $1 million spent on data center operations supports 13 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

Beyond creating jobs, data centers inject millions of dollars into the local economy through taxes—property taxes, but especially water and utility. In a February 2021 Sun-Times article, Lauren Huffman, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said the state’s incentive programs have already generated more than 370 jobs and $4.5 billion in private investment. (Read more about the impact of data centers on local economies here.)

“DuPage is good for data centers, and data centers are great for DuPage,” said Ron Lunt, Founding Partner of development company Hamilton Partners.

In early 2021, NTT Ltd., one of the world’s largest information-technology companies, opened their U.S. Data Center Campus at Hamilton Partner’s Hamilton Lakes Business Park. Located in Itasca at the intersection of the new Elgin O’Hare Expressway (I-390) and I-355, the park is a 15-minute drive from Chicago’s International Airport. In addition to office space, the campus features the Westin Hotel, the Hamilton Lakes Athletic Club, a daycare center, nature paths, and various restaurants.

“They employ our people, they fund public projects, they invigorate our local economy, and, importantly, they help us continue to attract further investment. DuPage is emerging as a global hub for innovative companies and talented people, and data centers play a key role.

“These are forward-thinking companies—they’re always looking to the near- and long-term future. And when they look at DuPage, they see an environment that has everything they need to build this future.”

data centers chicago

ABOUT DUPAGE COUNTY, ILLINOIS

Just west of Chicago, DuPage County is a diverse, innovative community offering a strategic location, a collaborative environment, a diverse culture, beautiful parks and trails, a vibrant arts scene, excellent schools, responsible local governance, and world-class workplaces.

Want to learn more? Take a look at our list of The Top DuPage Workplaces of 2021, dive into the history of the I-88 Corridor, or learn how global industry leader Ball Horticultural is literally coloring our world from DuPage County.

A Snapshot of DuPage County: History, Key Facts & More

dupage county

It’s hard to put a label on DuPage County.

Much like neighboring Chicago, the 182-year history of DuPage has been defined by transformation—from a loose constellation of mills and trading posts to an epicenter of global commerce; from a leader of the dot-com boom to a diverse ecosystem of innovative businesses hailing from a variety of industries.

DuPage is defined not only by what we are or where we’ve been, but where we’re going next.

We’re also defined by what we’ve created, both within and far beyond our borders. While each of the tectonic shifts in the DuPage economy was influenced by factors beyond county lines, the people and businesses within DuPage have, in turn, made an impact on communities across the globe—pushing scientific knowledge beyond its fenceposts, building international cargo channels, even bringing a pop of color to gardens the world over. As much as the world has changed DuPage, DuPage has changed the world.

And so, it’s only keeping with tradition that DuPage, a community shaped by diversity and defined by transformation, is once again changing.

New neighbors. New businesses.

Start-ups. Collaborations. Bold new ways to think about economic development.

As we enter this new chapter of change, let’s pause – just for a moment – and take a quick snapshot of where we are today: the makeup of our economy, the workforce opportunities and business opportunities, and the history that brought us here.

Whether you represent a company looking to do business in DuPage or a family putting down roots, this is a good place to start your journey.

A Quick History of DuPage

The best way to tell the story of DuPage – or any place – is through its people.

Before DuPage was DuPage, its tallgrass prairies were occupied for at least 9,000 years by numerous Native American tribes—including, as recently as the 1800s, the Potawatomi, who had villages in what is now Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn and the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

In 1839, as white settlers pushed west, DuPage County was founded. (The county was named after the DuPage River, which, the story goes, got its name from a French fur trader, Du Page.)

Thus began a new chapter in DuPage history: a series of transformations, each one punctuated by new technologies and powered by a fresh wave of immigrants. The coming decades saw an influx of Irish workers who helped dig the Illinois and Michigan Canal; the northern migration of black families leaving the Jim Crow South; countless scientists and doctors, primarily from Asia and the Middle East, recruited to meet rising demand amidst the post-WWII technological boom.

(For a story that captures the struggles and successes of one DuPage immigrant, read our post about Abdel Raouf Elganzouri, who travelled some 6,400 miles in pursuit of his dreams.)

Today, a mix of cultures continue to define the story of DuPage, as local businesses draw international talent and foreign-owned companies invest heavily in the region. In Wood Dale, for example, Japanese-owned logistics business Nippon Express employs hundreds of local workers.

DuPage: Key Facts

Now that we’ve walked through DuPage’s history, let’s run through the facts that everyone should know about DuPage today…

Location: Located about 20 miles west of Chicago, DuPage is located at an international cargo gateway and transportation crossroads. Home to three international airports – O’Hare, Midway, DuPage – as well as major waterways, interstates and railroads, businesses within DuPage can reach two-thirds of the world’s population within four hours.

The region’s natural and human-made infrastructure is one reason why DuPage is a top choice for transportation and logistics companies. (To learn more about the region’s transportation infrastructure and its impact in the early days of the pandemic, read our Import Logistics feature.)

Scope: DuPage consists of 39 municipalities, home to 932,000 residents and nearly 90,000 businesses.

Talent Pool: With the highest educational attainment in Illinois, one in four DuPage residents have a graduate degree. The region is home to both highly educated talent and a large pool of skilled workers.

Quality of Life: For families, workers and employers alike, one of DuPage County’s key selling points is that it’s simply a great place to live. While the area has long been known for its outdoor recreation, neighborhoods and schools – the area is home to 19 accredited colleges and universities, as well as top-ranked public and private schools – in recent years, the DuPage arts and culture scene has flourished, with new festivals, galleries, world-class dining and more.

Business Opportunities: Although no industry represents more than 10% of DuPage’s overall GDP – an indicator of a diverse business climate – some of the top local sectors include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Food Processing & Distribution
  • Healthcare
  • Professional Services
  • Transportation, Logistics and Warehousing

Another hot industry in the DuPage area is data centers. In fact, a recent report ranked the Chicagoland area (which includes DuPage) as the second-best data center market in the world, outranking the likes of Dallas-Fort Worth and even Silicon Valley. The high ranking is due to DuPage’s many advantages for data center companies, such as access to clean and renewable energy and an extensive fiber network, as well as state and local tax incentives.

DuPage County Real Estate: From industrial developments to a wide range of suburban office spaces, there are numerous business sites for companies looking to open a new headquarters, satellite office or retail space in DuPage.

Currently, one of the hottest mixed-use sites is the DuPage Business Center in West Chicago, a 640-acre park that offers space for data centers, manufacturing, R&D, medical facilities, office space, and more.

Meanwhile, One Pierce and 500 Park at Hamilton Lakes offer a dynamic variety of office spaces in Itasca, conveniently located at the intersection of I-190 and IL Route 390.

To get inspired and see how other businesses have made the region home, take a look at 2021’s Smartest, Sleekest & Healthiest Workplaces in DuPage.

Thank you for reading! Want to learn more about living, working and doing business in DuPage? This is a good place to start.

The Smartest, Sleekest & Healthiest Workplaces in DuPage: 2021

suburban office space

An office in the clouds…

A laboratory grown in a garden…

A 007-worthy global headquarters…

…and we’re just getting started.

Ever since we posted last year’s Smartest, Sleekest & Healthiest Workplaces in DuPage, we haven’t stopped thinking about the places where we work.

We’re kind of obsessed with it.

Now, one year later, we set out to find the best workplaces in DuPage.

As usual, we looked for the smartest, the sleekest and the healthiest.

But this year, we had a few other things in mind:

  • Talent attraction. Recruiting high-quality talent is tougher than ever. How are businesses adapting? What role does the workplace play in their strategy?
  • Flexibility. One thing the pandemic helped us understand is that we work best when we get to choose how we work, when we work and where we work. Collaboration is good… sometimes. Having a quiet place to concentrate is good… sometimes. The nature of modern work is that it’s always changing, and so are we. How can our workplaces adapt?
  • Identity. Ever since we started thinking about the places where we work, we couldn’t help but notice how the design of a workplace can either reflect, enhance or hinder a business’ identity. That made us wonder: How are businesses incorporating their unique values and character into workplace design? And how does that design impact the business?

Does this list represent all of the amazing workplaces in DuPage County?

Not even close.

But it does give you a good snapshot.

A wide range of businesses and workplaces are represented here, and each one puts its own spin on workplace design. They couldn’t be more different.

But they have at least one thing in common:

They are the result of deep understanding. These businesses know who they are, who they want to be, who they want to attract, and what kind of future they want to make. And now, they’ve taken that understanding and shaped it into a workplace as original as they are.

In no particular order, these are 2021’s Smartest, Sleekest and Healthiest Workplaces in DuPage

Bosch Automotive Aftermarket North America Offices

Oakbrook Terrace, IL | Service & Technology

Bosch offices in DuPage County

Bosch doesn’t do ‘small’. A leading global supplier of technology and services – which, at last count, has just shy of 400,000 associates worldwide – Bosch has big plans, a fact that becomes clear the second you step into the Skyview Room that is part of the penthouse floor that serves as the central gathering space of the company’s Oakbrook Automotive Aftermarket North America office…

…31 floors up in the air.

From hundreds of feet above Oakbrook Terrace, the room’s 360-degree windows offer a panoramic view of the northern Illinois plains and the Chicago skyline. If you look up, through the interlocking triangular prisms above, you’ll get a view that makes you feel like you’re on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, listening to the countdown.

Between the dramatic view and the smart design, Bosch’s office is a place where you can’t help but be inspired. This is a company with a sweeping global vision, and anyone who takes the elevator up to this office in the clouds gets to see it for themselves.

What we love about it:

  • The flexible design. Bosch is a company built on rapid adaptation. And when they teamed up with Whitney Architects to create their new Oakbrook Terrace office, they set out to design a workplace that could adapt as quickly as they do. The result is an office that transforms to accommodate situations of any nature. Modular furniture, smart rooms, break rooms called pantries  and lounge spaces, cleverly integrated IT support, and numerous meeting and breakout rooms make it easy to find the right environment for any given moment.
  • The natural lighting. Besides the beautiful views, the office’s panoramic windows offer plenty of natural light, cutting energy usage while naturally boosting the mood.
  • The brand presence. Momentum, fluidity, connection, embracing the rapid flow of change—these are the themes you’ll find on every floor of the Bosch office. You’ll find it in the artwork, the décor, the subtle elements of design (and the bold ones, too). As you move through the space, the atmosphere changes around you; geometric shapes and mechanical images one moment, bold organics popping with vibrant color the next.

Stuck on a problem? Need a spark of creativity? Grab a coffee at one of the pantries—and take a walk. This place is designed to inspire.

Architect: Whitney Architects

Ball Horticultural Helix Innovation Center

West Chicago, IL | Horticulture Research & Development

Ball Horticultural office in suburbs

Sitting about thirty floors lower than Bosch’s Oakbrook Terrace office is the new Ball Horticultural Helix Innovation Center, a one-story building designed to evoke the company’s quiet confidence.

But don’t be fooled by its down-to-earth appearance. Located at the center of Ball’s global headquarters in West Chicago, the new Innovation Center is home to some of the most advanced laboratories in the horticultural industry, staffed by some of the industry’s smartest people. Here, a team of world-class researchers develop new products, discover important plant genes, study plant diseases, and quietly revolutionize every garden in the world.

What we love about it:

  • The natural connection. A continuous curving ribbon of floor-to-ceiling glass runs the length of the building, allowing natural light to flow through while giving staff and visitors a view of the garden outside. All labs and offices are organized along the garden, so nature is never far away.
  • The global impact. Ball Horticultural has a strong presence in twenty countries across six continents, making it one of the global leaders headquartered right here in DuPage. The work being done at the new Innovation Center—and throughout Ball’s West Chicago headquarters—impacts people, businesses and communities around the world. The world is always changing DuPage, and we love to see the positive changes that DuPage businesses bring to the world.
  • The talent attraction. Currently, businesses in nearly every industry are struggling to attract talent. As you might have guessed, it’s especially tough to recruit the kind of world-class talent that is essential to Ball’s mission.

The company designed their Innovation Center with this challenge in mind. Not only does the sleek new facility feature advanced technology and laboratories that will enhance their research capabilities—it also showcases Ball’s workplace culture. The building shows potential recruits that this is a company that champions collaboration, transparency, innovation and creating thinking; this is a company that’s investing in what’s next.

Standing at the facility’s entrance, at the threshold of a beautiful garden and a high-tech laboratory, you feel like you’re taking your first steps into the workplace of the future. 

Architect: Christner Architects
Photo Credit: Steve Hall

Scientel Solutions Global Headquarters

Aurora, IL | Telecommunications, Security, Technology

Scientel Solutions office in dupage county

Scientel Solutions Scientel Solutions

Invisible sky-fences, thermal cameras, smart cities…

A business that works with Bond-worthy tech deserves a Bond-worthy home base. And that’s exactly what Scientel Solutions has created in Aurora.

Launched in 2020, Scientel’s state-of-the-art Global Headquarters is the central nervous system of the company’s worldwide network.

The centerpiece of the building is a next-generation Network Operations Center. Within these walls, Scientel’s team can monitor more than a million Internet of Things devices across the globe and use advanced algorithms to detect faults in mission-critical applications.

From there, an indoor “street” connects the Operations Center to the 16,000-square-foot building’s network of offices and flexible collaboration spaces, allowing clients, employees and ideas to circulate throughout the space. Meanwhile, automated systems monitor the building, ensuring maximum efficiency and security.

Eat your heart out, 007.

What we love about it:

  • The big picture. Scientel isn’t the only innovator to recently move to Aurora. The community, which recently launched a Smart City public-private partnership, has seen an influx of high-tech businesses, including NEOTech and Simplify Healthcare, among others. In fact, Scientel’s new headquarters is right across the street from Cyrus One, an innovative data-storage company that serves clients like the Chicago Stock Exchange.
  • The aesthetic blend. For such a futuristic building, Scientel’s headquarters feels refreshingly warm and human. Walnut trim, wood paneling and abstract art add organic, earthy touches to the exposed piping, polished concrete floors and other industrial elements. Meanwhile, frameless glass walls and doors allow natural light to flow through most rooms. Even executive office doors are made of glass, creating an environment of openness, transparency and connection.
  • The high-tech features. It wouldn’t be a Bond-worthy building without some gadgets.

Besides the advanced Networks Operations Center, technology is woven into every inch of Scientel’s headquarters. Each meeting room has a live, real-time schedule that can be booked through your phone or a tablet mounted on the wall. Every office and meeting room is equipped with a Solstice TV, allowing anyone to share their computer or phone on the big screen instantly. Meanwhile, a wide range of touchless smart features, including fully automated lighting and security systems, keep everything running smoothly.

Architect: Cordogan, Clark & Associates
Interior Designer: Lauren Collander, LC Interiors

Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.

Hamilton Lakes, Itasca, IL | Food & Beverage

Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto Ajinomoto

Customer service over the phone? That’s so last decade.

Now, as a customer of global food & beverage company Ajinomoto, you can call into the new Customer Engagement Center in Itasca, where a livestreaming Ajinomoto employee can not only tell you, but actually show you how to use the product in real time—from their high-tech, video-equipped kitchen.

“Our new Customer Engagement Center gives us the technology and physical space that we need to adapt to our customers’ needs,” says Chef Chris Koetke, Corporate Executive Chef at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition.

As a customer, you have options. Depending on your needs, you can participate in live demonstrations and receive ongoing support in either a hands-on, in-person format or a virtual, interactive session. That means you can get the support you need—when, where and how you need it.

“That flexibility is a gamechanger for us.”

In addition to the Engagement Center, Ajinomoto’s 55,000-square-foot facility features space for 405 people, a new ‘sensory evaluation laboratory’ that supports real-time analysis of ongoing product development, and an event auditorium for hosting conferences, tastings and innovation workshops.

What we love about it:

  • The thoughtful design. The innovative features of their North American headquarters allow Ajinomoto’s team to do something new (stream customer support and webinars in real time). Because they invested extra time and resources into the design process, they are now able to provide even better service for their customers and differentiate their company from the competition. In addition to the Customer Engagement Center, the new event auditorium further cements their position as an industry thought-leader.
  • The wellness-driven workspace. Ajinomoto and Shive Hattery worked together to ensure that the new building features ample space for customers and employees, allowing for social distancing. Of course, customers always have the option to call into the Engagement Center for live video support.
  • The sleek aesthetic. Geometric patterns and organic shapes come alive with whimsical pops of color throughout the Ajinomoto space. We love seeing how such a sleek, state-of-the-art workplace can also feel so playful.

Architect/Designer: Shive Hattery

Kinectrics U.S. Headquarters

Naperville, IL | Engineering Consulting

Kinectrics

Kinectrics

Here’s a good example of people-first design.

Created in 2019, every feature you find within the Kinectrics U.S. Headquarters—from the flexible workspaces and abundant natural lighting to the convenient location and nearby amenities—is designed to help keep the Kinectrics team healthy, relaxed and focused, so they can be their best selves when they approach the task at hand.

And that’s good for all of us, because, as a company that delivers life-cycle management solutions to the electrical industry, the task at hand happens to be keeping the lights on for millions.

What we love about it:

  • The abundant amenities. What’s outside the office is just as important as what’s within. Located at CityGate Centre—a 31-acre campus that features the offices of businesses like General Motors and Informatica alongside retail space, walking trails, restaurants and a full-service luxury hotel—employees are never far from anything they need.
  • The airy aesthetic. Stepping into the office is a breath of fresh air. Wide corridors, high ceilings and floor-to ceiling windows give the space an open, airy feeling with plenty of natural light.
  • The flexible workspaces. When it’s time to collaborate, there’s a space to fit any situation: huddle rooms for small groups, conference rooms for formal meetings, and a variety of informal shared spaces along the windows.

And when you need a place to concentrate, there’s a space for that, too.

Design/Builder: Arco/Murray

Designer: Rightsize Facility

Dugan & Lopatka Headquarters

Warrenville, IL | Public Accounting

Dugan & Lopatka office in warrenville

Dugan & Lopatka office in warrenville Dugan & Lopatka office in warrenville

What happens when a workplace embodies a culture?

Over the last forty years, the Dugan & Lopatka team has built their business on collaboration and relationships. Communication within the group and with their clients has been as fundamental to their success as their business savvy and financial skills, so it only feels natural that their Warrenville office, built in 2018, embodies this collaborative spirit in every aspect of its design.

While the space can accommodate individual tasks, the focus is on collaboration. Flanked by two conference rooms and a break room, the central hub of Dugan & Lopatka’s office features an airy, open-concept design, with low cubicles and glass office walls that extend one’s line of sight across the office. Meanwhile, several smaller rooms are reserved for impromptu meetings and breakout sessions.

Dugan & Lopatka take a team approach to their work—they often get together to hash out business problems and share their expertise. Their office is designed to let the collaboration flow, so they can do what they do best.

What we love about it:

  • The values-driven design. The best workplaces are the ones that embody a company’s values, and it’s hard to think of a better example than Dugan & Lopatka’s Warrenville office. While there are certainly more dramatic offices featured here, the décor of D&L’s office perfectly reflects the firm’s low-key attitude, while the open-concept design embodies and enhances their collaborative approach to client work. When a client or team member enters this workspace, they experience Dugan & Lopatka’s values in action.
  • The fresh air. Cantera, the building where Dugan & Lopatka is headquartered, features an advanced air-ionization system, keeping the indoor air clean and free of particulates while reducing the amount of air required from outside and cutting energy costs by up to thirty percent. Due to this system and other features, the Cantera building has received an Energy Star Label.
  • The healthy amenities. The Dugan & Lopatka office has just about everything the team needs for a good, productive workday. However, right outside the office, within the Cantera building, you’ll find a fitness facility, an on-site coffee bar, and a drop-in business lounge—the perfect place for a quick break or informal meeting.

Architect: Whitney Architects

RESTORE Hair

Oak Brook, IL | Self-Care Products & Services

Restore

Step up to the glass and behold: Number 54, URLACHER, the jersey of that legendary Bears linebacker, that relentless, unstoppable, possibly superhuman brick wall of a man… And what’s this? A signed picture of the famously bald star, sporting a crop of luscious brown hair.

On the surface, RESTORE Hair, a national leader in the hair-regrowth market, doesn’t seem to have much in common with our last entry, accounting firm Dugan & Lopatka. But much like D&L, RESTORE Hair uses their workplace to embody and celebrate their brand.

From the sleek décor and dark wood panels to that glorious Brian Urlacher shrine, the RESTORE brand is woven into every inch of this 12,000-square-foot Regency Towers office. Relaxing in the lobby, you get the feeling that you’re in a high-end NFL locker room—as though, at any moment, Urlacher himself might walk around the corner, rockin’ his new do.

What we love about it:

  • The experience. Stepping into this space, employees and clients alike are immediately immersed in the RESTORE Hair brand—the look, the feel, the culture and the values. When employees come to work, we want to feel like we’re part of something big, and that’s the vibe we get in the RESTORE office. At the same time, it’s never overwhelming; the brand messaging is tasteful, the floorplan is open and airy, and the décor is clean and modern. It’s energetic, but it also feels like a place where you can relax and focus. 
  • The flexibility. The lobby is an open-concept space with a long line of sight, a great place for casual conversations and impromptu meetings. Then, when employees need to focus, they can close their office doors and get the privacy they need (while the partial-glass office walls keep them visually connected to the rest of the office). Autonomy is always available, but collaboration is never far away.
  • That conversation piece. We love it when workplaces integrate a conversation piece into a space where employees meet with clients. What better way to spark a conversation than an Urlacher shrine?

Designer: Charles Sparks

IBEW Local 701 Hall

Warrenville, IL | Electrical Contracting Industry

IBEW Local 701

IBEW Local 701 IBEW Local 701

The Warrenville headquarters of PowerForward DuPage is at once a multi-tenant office building, a hands-on apprenticeship training center, a community gathering place, a wellness center, the home of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 701, and a testament to the organization’s culture.

Appropriately – as the space serves the needs of hundreds of electrical workers – the building feels energetic.

At any given moment, the next generation of electrical workers are in the classroom, learning the fundamentals of the National Electrical Code while another a group of apprentices are training in the workshop and data lab, immersing themselves in real-world simulations. Meanwhile, a member’s child is seeing a physician in the wellness center as a group of high schoolers are touring the facility, thinking about the future.

Speaking of the future…

Over the next few decades, there is expected to be a shortage of skilled trade workers—just as the nation undergoes a major energy infrastructure overhaul. Challenging times lie ahead.

Then again, when you take a walk through the building and see one generation passing their knowledge to the next, you can’t help but feel a buzz. There’s a hopeful current running through this place.

What we love about it:

  • The multi-use space. The local could have built their apprenticeship training center in one building, their meeting area in another, etc., etc. Instead, they brought all of these elements together in a single facility, and the result is greater than the sum of its parts. By bringing together people at different stages of their lives and careers—from industry leaders to students who are just starting their careers—you get a sense of progression and shared purpose.
  • The values-driven design. The soaring ceilings and full glass entryway welcome in the natural light, showcasing the impressive design of the building’s atrium. It’s yet another example of a place that embodies its organization’s mission in every element of design.

Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates, Inc.

One Pierce & 500 Park at Hamilton Lakes

Itasca, IL | Dynamic Office Space

Hamilton Lakes Itasca

Hamilton Lakes Itasca Hamilton Lakes Itasca

Up to this point, we’ve focused on the workplaces of specific businesses.

But what about the bigger picture?

Located at Hamilton Lakes Business Park in Itasca, One Pierce & 500 Park show us how the features of office buildings and campuses are just as important as the individual workplaces within.

Both buildings feature a wide range of office spaces—with different sizes and layouts—along with world-class amenities, an unbeatable location and plenty of dynamic shared spaces. They offer the kind of foundation that modern businesses need to create an ideal workplace.

What we love about it:

  • The community. One of the greatest benefits that an office building or campus can provide is a sense of shared purpose—a community, a culture, and all of the energy and creativity that come with it. In the past, the desire for community and culture has drawn some businesses downtown. But now many of those same businesses are looking to innovative developments like Hamilton Lakes and CityGate Centre in DuPage County, workplaces that are building a community and a culture all their own. As a tenant at One Pierce or 500 Park, you always feel connected to other tenants thanks to the numerous shared spaces—patios, lounges, lobbies, cafes, restaurants, walking paths and more.
  • The amenities. Within the campus, you’ll find more than three miles of walking trails, acres of beautiful natural areas to explore, healthy dining options, outdoor workspaces, a health club, a hotel, a basketball court and the many shared spaces we mentioned above. And just beyond the campus, there’s a whole world of arts, culture, parks, entertainment and dining to explore.
  • The convenient location. Whether you’re coming from the suburbs, the city, or the other side of the world, commuting to Hamilton Lakes is easy. The campus is located just off the highway in Itasca, a short drive from O’Hare and downtown Chicago.
  • The flexible workspaces. Whether you’re a small upstart plugging into a fully furnished office or a large tenant building out multiple floors of space, these buildings help you succeed by letting you do what works for you.

Reading about One Pierce & 500 Park at Hamilton Lakes is one thing—but it’s much better to see these beautiful workplaces for yourself. Take a video tour, and you’ll see what we mean.

A closing thought

Thank you for reading this year’s feature!

Although the workplaces above couldn’t be more different, they have one advantage in common: They’re in DuPage.

Just west of Chicago, DuPage County is a diverse, innovative community offering a strategic location, a collaborative environment, a diverse culture, beautiful parks and trails, a vibrant arts scene, excellent schools, responsible local governance, and world-class workplaces like the ones featured here.

Thanks to these amenities and more, businesses in DuPage have an edge when recruiting top talent.

Want to learn more about our community? Take a look at this inspiring story of a local entrepreneur, dive into the history of the I-88 Corridor, or explore how one community in DuPage is diversifying its economy.