Illinois

New Amazon Fulfillment Centers in California and Illinois to Create 3500 Jobs

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans to open three new fulfillment centers, of which two will be in California and one in Illinois.

Amazon

Amazon (photo – Amazon.com, Inc.)

The two California fulfillment centers in Tracy and Eastvale, both approximately one million square feet in size, will create more than 1,500 new full-time jobs.

This increases Amazon’s California presence to nine fulfillment centers, nine million square feet of operations and approximately 14,000 full-time hourly associates.

Panorea Avdis, director of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), said in a statement that “With tens of thousands of employees across the state, Amazon is a major driver of both state and local economies. We are thrilled that Amazon has decided to continue to expand its operations in California.”

Michael Maciel, Mayor of Tracy, highlighted the community development benefits that Amazon will bring, noting that beyond their obvious economic impact, Amazon has shown itself to be a truly great corporate neighbor. “From associates volunteering in the community to Amazon’s recent donation of STEM supplies to Central Elementary school, the company proves its commitment to our community every day,” said Mayor Maciel.

Ike Bootsma, Mayor of Eastvale, added that “We are very excited about the local employment opportunities the Amazon facility will create and we welcome Amazon to the City of Eastvale.”

Meanwhile, Amazon also announced plans to open its second fulfillment center in Joliet, IL. The project will create more than 2,000 full-time jobs at the new 700,000-square-foot facility, in addition to the 1,500 full-time employees currently working at its existing Joliet facility.

Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North American operations, said in the release that “We have found an abundance of talent in Joliet and we are excited to bring a new fulfillment center to the city and create 2,000 great full-time jobs with benefits.”

Chauhan added that the community and elected officials throughout the city and state have been very supportive of Amazon, and thanked them for helping make this project possible.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said in a statement that “This expansion is a vote of confidence in the state’s new way of doing economic development in Illinois with the ILBEDC working alongside the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.”

ILBEDC is the newly formed Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation, created to take over and more effectively fulfill many of the economic development functions of the IL Department of Commerce.

Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk likewise noted that Amazon’s confidence in their community demonstrates that Joliet can attract the best employers in the e-commerce industry sector.

John Greuling, president and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development, added that “The new jobs this project will bring provide tremendous career opportunities for residents throughout the region.”

Chicago Moves Forward With Transformative Riverfront Development Creating Thousands of Jobs

Related Midwest, the Chicago office of Related Companies, is moving forward with the development of the largest undeveloped parcel of land in downtown Chicago.

Related Midwest

Photo – relatedmidwest.com

Located at the southwest corner of Clark Street and Roosevelt Road and extending a half-mile south along the Chicago River to 16th Street, this transformative project is going to provide a wide array of Chicago economic development benefits.

The development on a 62-acre site that has been lying vacant for years is expected to create thousands of jobs, jumpstart neighborhood development, improve public access to the riverfront, and improve connectivity between neighborhoods by linking the South Loop to Chinatown. It will provide new walkable, transit-oriented options for the community, and also a beautiful new open space and parkland for Chicago residents.

Related Companies has a track record of taking on such large-scale transformative projects. The New York-based company is currently developing Hudson Yards, a 28-acre, 17 million-square-foot neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side. Related Midwest has also been responsible for the preservation of thousands of units of affordable housing in the city of Chicago.

Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest, said in a statement that “As Chicagoans, we are not in the habit of making small plans and that is certainly the case with this one-of-a-kind site.” Bailey added that they are thrilled to create a much-needed connection between the Loop and Chinatown and transform what was once a roadblock into a diverse community that will bring thousands of jobs and opportunity to the area.

The announcement of Related Midwest’s latest proposed development was made by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ward 25 Alderman Daniel Solis, and follows action taken by the City back in 2014 when the Community Development Commission approved Mayor Emanuel’s request for authority to acquire the site.

The city was moving forward to take over the site, but postponed the plan after Related Midwest expressed interest in joining the team. The company has now acquired a stake in the site and will serve as its master developer.

Mayor Emanuel said in the release that “This will be one of the largest development projects in Chicago’s history, and I look forward to working with our private partners to transform this site and create economic opportunities for residents in every part of Chicago.”

Alderman Solis added that “This development will transform the area and I look forward to continuing to work with Related and the team as it moves forward.”

1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing Initiative Hits Halfway Milestone

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and non-profit Chicago economic development group World Business Chicago announced the 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing program has successfully placed 500 people in manufacturing jobs since its inception in January last year.

1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing

1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing (photo – 1000jobscampaign.com)

To be specific, the program has helped provide 165 people manufacturing-focused training, and 500 qualified candidates have been hired by 94 manufacturers, including more than 180 people who were formerly incarcerated.

All of the jobs are full-time, non-temporary and offer benefits, with pay above the median wage for the skill and sector. The national median wage for manufacturing jobs is $70,000 annually.

Mayor Emanuel said in a release that “This unique partnership between job seekers, manufacturers and workforce development organizations is a win-win for Chicago. I am proud of the milestone of placing 500 Chicagoans in these positions so far and I look forward to celebrating even more progress in the months ahead.”

Economic growth, combined with an aging workforce, has contributed to an estimated 30,000 open manufacturing jobs in Chicagoland. World Business Chicago and the Advisory Council for Chicagoland Manufacturing are working together to address the skills gap required to fill these jobs.

Using a collaborative model, the program matches job seekers to open advanced manufacturing jobs and link residents who need additional skills with training and apprenticeship programs that can result in full-time employment.

The program has raised more than $1.05 million in public and private contributions, including $400,000 from the city of Chicago. The campaign works with seven community based organizations to add capacity and match residents with open jobs and training programs.

By bringing together a network of training and existing workforce development resources, 1000 Jobs serves manufacturers through a single point of contact. So employers have access to a larger pool of candidates more efficiently, and at no cost.

Since there are over 14,000 small and medium manufacturers operating in the Chicagoland area, the potential for economic development is huge. The 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing program has the ability to grow the economy by $400 million. At present, the 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing program’s partner manufacturers have more than 125 open jobs.

World Business Chicago President and CEO Jeff Malehorn noted that “We are proud of this milestone, placing 500 people in manufacturing jobs, and look forward to continuing to work with our partners to build Chicagoland’s advanced manufacturing workforce.”

Benefit Chicago Collaboration Aims to Mobilize $100M in Social Impact Investments

The Chicago Community Trust, MacArthur and Calvert Foundation have teamed up to form Benefit Chicago, a powerful collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million in social impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises working to address key priorities throughout the Chicago region.

Benefit Chicago

Benefit Chicago (photo – benefitchi.org)

The much-needed $100 million infusion of capital will provide low-interest loans and other investments to accelerate Chicago economic development efforts addressing access to healthy food, quality affordable housing, energy conservation, job creation and training, education, childcare and more.

The way it will work is that Benefit Chicago investors will be able to purchase Chicago-targeted Community Investment Notes. The pool of combined capital from the purchase of these fixed-income securities will make low-interest loans and other investments to Chicago-serving nonprofits and social enterprises.

Donors create a personal named fund with a minimum gift of $10,000, and can then make grants from the fund to the charities of their choosing – in addition to the option to invest in Chicago-targeted Notes through Benefit Chicago.

Calvert Foundation has committed to issue up to $50 million of these fixed-income securities, which offer principal maturities ranging from one to 15 years, with interest payable annually. The Trust has committed to invest $15 million in a 15-year Chicago-targeted Note, using a portion of donor-advised funds that it manages.

Calvert Foundation will loan all proceeds of its Chicago-targeted Notes to a new charitable fund that MacArthur has established specifically to advance the mission of Benefit Chicago. The MacArthur Foundation is investing $50 million of its own assets in this new special-purpose fund, which will use the combined pool of capital to make patient, low-cost loans and other investments that boost the impact of Chicago’s social sector.

MacArthur President Julia Stasch said in a statement that “MacArthur looks forward to sharing Benefit Chicago’s fresh approach with those who may want to replicate it elsewhere, and to applying it in other ways so that the social sector benefits more fully from rising interest in impact investing around the world.”

Terry Mazany, president and CEO of The Trust, added that “As The Chicago Community Trust enters its second century of work, we are thrilled to introduce Benefit Chicago to our donors, providing them with a straightforward yet transformational way to invest for impact in tandem with their traditional grant-making and philanthropy.”

Jennifer Pryce, president and CEO of Calvert Foundation, likewise added that “We’re pleased to collaborate in this new way with such deeply-rooted and committed philanthropies by offering a Chicago-targeted impact investment option.”

Visit benefitCHI.org to learn about different investment options. Applications for financing through Benefit Chicago will be accepted starting from July.

CNA Breaks Ground on Headquarters Building in Chicago to House Over 3000 Employees

CNA (NYSE: CNA) has broken ground on its new global headquarters building, a Chicago economic development project that is going to create 2,700 construction-related jobs, and another 45 permanent jobs will be created to manage, secure and operate it.

Big Red CNA Center in Chicago

Big Red in Chicago (photo – Daniel Schwen/wikimedia)

Not to mention the more than 3,000 tenant employees that the new 35-story, 810,000-square-foot building, also to be known as the CNA Center, will accommodate on 151 North Franklin Street.

The project, first announced last year in December, ensures that the company which has been based in Chicago for 116 years will stay in the Loop for generations to come.  Founded in 1897, CNA is the country’s eighth largest commercial insurance writer and the 14th largest property and casualty company.

The John Buck Company, the real estate developer for the CNA Center at 151 North Franklin, has also acquired 333 South Wabash (aka the iconic Big Red) that has been the CNA global headquarters since 1972. CNA is leasing Big Red back from JBC until the new global headquarters is ready for occupancy.

CNA will be leasing 275,000 square feet in the new Class A building, and law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP has committed to leasing another 100,000 square feet.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who joined representatives from CNA and JBC for the groundbreaking, said in a statement that CNA is an iconic Chicago company with a history that spans more than a century. “But today is about more than this new building. It is about building a new future where Chicago will remain a city on the move for every resident in every neighborhood,” added Mayor Emanuel.

Thomas F. Motamed, chairman and chief executive officer, CNA, noted that “CNA’s new global headquarters recommits us to this world-class city and will better serve the needs of both our employees and customers.”

JBC Chairman John A. Buck likewise added that “We’d like to thank Mayor Emanuel for his continued support of this project, and of all businesses throughout our great city. As we move forward with construction, we are committed to hiring a diverse workforce of contractors that represent this great city.”

Another aspect worth mentioning about this prestigious Chicago economic development project is that it will be constructed as a green building project with LEED-CS Gold Certified design specifications. The building’s design architect is John Ronan, with Adamson Associates as the executive architect.

Chicago Economic Development Plan to Modernize Industrial Corridors

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced a Chicago economic development initiative that aims to generate more jobs and investment in Chicago’s neighborhoods by reviewing and improving land use policies in many of the city’s 26 designated industrial corridors.

Chicago City Hall

Chicago City Hall (photo – Raed Mansour/flickr)

A public review process is being launched that will focus on modernizing restrictive zoning in these corridors in order to create new opportunities for investment, neighborhood jobs and economic development.

The review and public input process will lead to formal recommendations to the City Council to accomplish three primary goals – Develop ideas to improve industrial corridors; Reform some industrial corridors to unlock new economic growth; and Create a new funding tool to invest in industrial job centers.

The city will therefore review market analyses and develop ideas for improvements and potential corridor boundary expansions. Reform will be needed in some areas such as the North Branch, where traditional industry is no longer the main economic driver and properties like the former A. Finkl & Sons Co. site are stagnant. For such sites, the city will review existing and potential land uses to accommodate market demand for potential technology, commercial, residential or retail development.

As for the new funding tool for making investments, Mayor Emanuel is going to propose a fee on non-industrial developments in industrial corridors. The fee structure will be based on the impact those developments have on the city’s overall industrial landscape. The funds generated will be dedicated to two purposes – supporting industrial expansion and manufacturing jobs in proximity to neighborhoods that need support, and supporting area infrastructure improvements to corridors transitioning away from traditional industrial use.

Mayor Emanuel said in a statement that “This initiative builds on the new norm we are establishing in Chicago where our thriving areas will help our neighborhoods in need of investment.”

The city will work with local aldermen to conduct a series of public meetings with industrial business owners, property owners and other community stakeholders, and will engage consultants to assist with the land use studies.

Planning Commissioner David L. Reifman added that “We need to directly address how our land use policies impact the shifting character of 21st century manufacturing, tech-related employment, freight-related growth, and traditional manufacturing.”

This new initiative builds on Chicago economic development efforts to grow and support existing manufacturers while bringing new ones to Chicago. Business assistance programs like Tax Increment Financing (TIF), TIFWorks, property tax incentives and others have been essential in retaining Vienna Beef in Chicago, attracting a new Whole Foods distribution center and the Method Manufacturing plant to Pullman, building the UI Labs Digital Manufacturing and Design Institute on Goose Island, and expanding the Cedar Concepts chemical manufacturing complex on the South Side.

Chicago Gets GE Transportation Digital Solutions Business Lead Office and 160 Jobs

GE has announced the selection of Chicago for deep investments to further advance its digital strategy, with the city as a core hub of GE’s growing digital ecosystem.

GE Transportation Digital in Chicago

GE Transportation Digital in Chicago (infographic- ge.com)

Chicago will be the lead office for GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions business, and GE is creating 160 new jobs in the greater Chicago area focused solely on digital advancements in transportation and healthcare.

This includes 100 tech jobs that will be created in Chicago in this year alone, and another 60 jobs at GE Healthcare’s digital business unit in Barrington, IL. GE already has a considerable impact on Greater Chicago economic development, with more than 2,000 employees in the region, and 3,000 across Illinois.

Established more than a century ago, GE Transportation is a division of the General Electric Company that pioneered passenger and freight locomotives. It is now headquartered in Chicago, and employs more than 10,000 employees worldwide.

Unlike the search for the GE corporate headquarters in which Chicago was one of the many cities that tried but lost to Boston, there was no contest this time as GE did not consider any other cities for the lead office of the new GE Transportation Digital Solutions business.

GE Transportation President and CEO Jamie Miller said in a statement that these investments are evidence of Chicago’s talent depth, innovation and growing digital ecosystem. “Chicago’s global business community, research universities, and strong depth in the transportation sector make it an ideal location for continuing to cultivate a diverse and dynamic digital workforce,” said Miller.

The 160 jobs being created in Chicago will include software engineers, software developers, data scientists, product analysts, and project managers at both GE Transportation and GE Healthcare.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement that GE’s decision to invest in Chicago to advance their new digital strategy is a tremendous vote of confidence in the city’s future. “It will bring new jobs to our city and open up new opportunities for more of Chicago’s residents to succeed in the digital economy of the 21st century,” added Mayor Emanuel.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner likewise noted that as a transportation nexus with a rapidly developing tech sector, Illinois is the perfect home for GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions business. “Illinois’ location and innovative tech companies also motivated GE Healthcare to move their headquarters to Chicago to be part of our world-class healthcare and life sciences cluster,” said Gov. Rauner.

After MO and IL Meetings, NGA West Headquarters Relocation Focus on Free Land, Transit Connections

The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) is currently in the final stages of its site selection process for the relocation of its regional headquarters currently located in St. Louis, MO.

NGA West headquarters St. Louis, MO

NGA West headquarters St. Louis, MO (photo -stlouis-mo.gov)

A visit by NGA Director Robert Cardillo to meet with competing groups of state and local officials in Missouri and Illinois has resulted in a last minute change in the St. Louis, MO proposal to include free land for the new NGA West headquarters.

The meeting in Illinois was hosted as a private briefing for top NGA officials by U.S. Senator for Illinois Mark Kirk. One of the highlights of the Illinois proposal is the promise of a free 182-acre site for the NGA West headquarters.

The St. Clair, IL site adjacent to Scott AFB is currently owned by the county, which has already committed to make it available to the NGA immediately at no cost, and thrown in the promise of additional free land for future expansions.

During a private meeting in St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s office, NGA Director Robert Cardillo was told that St. Louis is also now offering the 99-acre site in their proposal to the NGA for free.

Gov. Nixon said in a statement that this announcement further strengthens the City’s proposal and makes the NGA’s choice even clearer. “St. Louis is where the NGA has made its home for more than 70 years, and St. Louis is far and away the best place for the NGA to build a brighter, more secure future,” said Gov. Nixon.

The project is of immense importance to both states, considering that it means a new $1.75 billion government agency headquarters, and the 3,100 high-value government jobs with it. Mayor Slay noted that “We know that a new NGA facility in North St. Louis will catalyze an entire community.”

Apart from free land, both states are offering a large package of incentives and the promise of infrastructure support for the headquarters construction and operations. Missouri economic development incentives on the table for the project include up to $95 million in Tax Incremental Financing and approximately $36 million in Brownfield Tax Credits, should the St. Louis Development Corporation be successful in its efforts to retain the NGA West headquarters.

St. Louis economic development incentives for the project now include up to a $1.5 million annually for up to 30 years. This covers the cost of site acquisition, site preparation, and utility relocation and improvements, as well as a full highway interchange and road enhancements, plus the newly added cost of providing the land to the NGA for free.

Additionally, the City of St. Louis said in a release that it is working with Metro to adjust its current and planned rail and bus networks to connect NGA to the transit system as strongly as possible. Illinois has likewise pitched the NGA up to $115 million for road and infrastructure improvements, and a $5 million grant for extending light rail all the way to the NGA site adjacent to Scott AFB.

The NGA was supposed to announce its final location decision for the new NGA headquarters this month, but the announcement date has now been pushed back to April 1.

Allstate Plans Innovation Hub With 400 Jobs at Merchandise Mart in Chicago

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) announced plans to create an innovation hub at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

Allstate

Allstate (photo – allstate.com)

The insurer is taking up a 45,000-square-foot office space on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart, and will bring nearly four hundred high value jobs to Chicago, primarily with Allstate’s Quantitative Research & Analytics (QR&A) and Connected Car teams.

The QR&A team leads research, synthesizes data and builds predictive modeling. Allstate’s Connected Car division has been at the forefront of developing next-generation telematics offerings that broadly benefit customers across the company’s brands.

The company’s selection of the Merchandise Mart for the innovation hub is intended to help attract the data and innovation specialists it needs for the QR&A and Connected Car teams.

In a release announcing the new innovation hub in Chicago, Thomas J. Wilson, chairman and chief executive officer, The Allstate Corporation, said that “We’re expanding our world-class technology and data capabilities to help us better serve our customers, advance public safety and improve the quality of life on our roadways, in our homes and in our workplaces.”

The innovation hub also builds on Allstate’s long-standing contribution to Chicago economic development, which includes being one of the top employers in the Chicago area and a strong supporter of efforts to build a more vital downtown.

The company has contributed more than $35 million to various initiatives in the city in the past seven years including for the arts and culture, civic initiatives, community development and youth safety and empowerment. Allstate is also a long-time supporter of causes that seek to better the quality of life in Chicago and tackle challenges confronting the city.

Last year alone, Allstate and its employees, agency owners and The Allstate Foundation together contributed $36 million to fund national programs, provide grants, and create meaningful partnerships that support safer lives and stronger communities. Allstate has also joined with Chicago’s other major corporations to create the Get IN Chicago initiative to develop innovative solutions to youth-related violence.

Northfield Township, IL-based The Allstate Corporation is the largest publicly held personal lines insurer in the United States, covering approximately 16 million households. The Allstate brand’s network of agents and small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. The company now has more than 40,000 employees, and generates annual revenue exceeding $35 billion.

Illinois Launches Non-Profit Business and Economic Development Corporation

In his State of the State address, Governor Bruce Rauner announced the launch of the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation (ILBEDC), a non-profit organization modeled from best practices of other successful state and local EDOs.

IL Economic Development Corp

IL Economic Development Corp (photo – ilbedc.org)

The creation of a private Illinois economic development organization to promote the state was a key recommendation of the Governor’s bipartisan transition committee last year, and the required legislation (Amendment No. 1 to HB0574; Illinois Business and Economic Development Partnership Act) was filed in April in the Illinois Legislature.

The ILBEDC will not replace the Illinois Department of Commerce, which will maintain key functions, including federal program administration and final authority and oversight of all state grants and incentives negotiated by the ILBEDC.

The Governor will sign an Executive Order in the coming days to formally establish its relationship with the Illinois Department of Commerce. The formation of the ILBEDC and its operations at least through FY16 will be funded entirely with private donations. The Department of Commerce will maintain all its existing duties, including working with companies on expansion and relocation efforts, until the ILBEDC is operational.

Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz noted in a release that there is no reason Illinois should not have a thriving economy. Yet the state continues to lag behind other states and national averages, and is losing a steady stream of businesses, jobs and residents to other states.

Last year, Illinois lost an average 250 jobs a month and ended the year with 3,000 fewer jobs, in stark contrast with overall national growth. Families are fleeing the state in droves, with more than 100,000 residents having left Illinois last year.

Schultz added that the rigid structure and suffocating bureaucracy of the Department of Commerce hinder their ability to attract businesses to Illinois and to drive economic development. “A mere 14 percent of Department of Commerce staff is dedicated to economic development activities, limiting the resources to attract and to retain business, which is a disservice to Illinois businesses and taxpayers,” said Schultz.

The Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation will enter into grant agreements with the Illinois Department of Commerce, and will also be able to negotiate tax incentives with private businesses, subject to DCEO approval.

Final composition of the ILBEDC board is still under development. The organization will be subject to transparency laws, including Freedom of Information Act. It will publicly disclose board meeting minutes, final copies of all grant and tax incentive agreements with which it had a part in negotiating, and donors to the organization.

For more information on the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation, visit www.ilbedc.org.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17  Scroll to top