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Focal Point Plans Expansion at Chicago Production Center

24 Oct 2014, 5:51 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Architectural lighting manufacturer Focal Point is planning to expand its headquarters at 4141 S. Pulaski Road in Chicago’s Southwest Side. According to a news release, the company will invest more than $6.1 million to purchase surrounding parcels and expand its current production center. Focal Point currently employs 394 people at its LEED-certified building, and plans to add 50 full-time jobs following the expansion.

“Our expansion here in Chicago allows us to retain our valuable human capital both on the plant floor and in the office,” said Focal Point president Christopher Thornton. “Illinois has a long history as being a manufacturing stronghold and this project is a great example of business and government working together to grow a local economy.”

Focal Point’s expansion was made possible through a state incentive package worth roughly $2.9 million, under an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity-administered program. Illinois’ Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program requires companies to meet established targets for job creation or retention and capital investment in order to receive the financial credit. According to a news release, the investment for Focal Point’s expansion also includes $156,500 for job training.

“Focal Point has dedicated itself to manufacturing innovative, environmentally-friendly lighting products for the past two decades in Illinois,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “Illinois is making a comeback. We are leading the Midwest in job growth, and are second in the nation with more than 40,000 jobs created in the past two months. As we continue on our path to recovery, family-owned businesses like Focal Point are driving our economy forward by taking a stake in our future and creating jobs in our local communities,” the Governor added.

Logo courtesy of Focal Point, LLC

Radisson Hotel Schaumburg to Open in Suburban Chicago in 2015

22 Oct 2014, 3:33 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Radisson, a subsidiary of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, recently announced the signing of the Radisson Hotel Schaumburg, a 137-room hotel to open in 2015 in Schaumburg, Ill. The Swift Hospitality Group broke ground on the 137-room hotel back in June.

“We are pleased to bring this new Radisson to the area as it brings a level of style and comfort that visitors have learned to expect from one of the world’s leading full-service hotel brands,” said Dave Swift, President and CEO of Swift Hospitality Group. “Guests will soon be able to experience not only premium accommodations, but also be welcomed by caring hotel team members that will ensure that the needs of the modern traveler are met.”

The Radisson Hotel Schaumburg is conveniently located in close proximity to popular destinations such as the Woodfield Mall, Strawberry Hill Plaza, the Highland Woods Golf Course and the Motorola Solutions global headquarters. The hotel will feature an open floor plan with a bar in the lobby, dining area with an extensive menu, business center, state-of-the-art fitness center, large indoor pool and whirlpool. Guestroom amenities will include large flat screen TVs, spacious work desks, upgraded bathroom amenities, and high-speed internet access.

“The signing of the Radisson Hotel Schaumburg demonstrates our desire to continue enhancing the brand’s portfolio, and further expand our presence in the Chicagoland market,” said Javier Rosenberg, Chief Operating Officer, Carlson Rezidor Group, Americas. “The village of Schaumburg is an important regional commercial and retail hub, and further enhances the presence of our brands in the state of Illinois.”

Logo courtesy of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Wood Partners and Golub & Co. Break Ground on Lake+Forest Apartment Community in Oak Park, IL

20 Oct 2014, 3:24 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor


A joint partnership between Wood Partners, LLC and Chicago-based Golub & Company recently broke ground on a 1.6-acre, 270-unit luxury rental community in Oak Park, Ill. Lake + Forest consists of a 21-story, 240,000-square-foot building located on Forest Ave. in the suburban village of Oak Park, and is designed by award-winning architecture firm Gensler. The building will occupy the site of a former city-owned parking structure, according to a news release.

Lake + Forest will feature 124 one-bedroom units, 106 two-bedroom units, roughly 25,000 square feet of retail and office space facing Lake Street, as well as 288 private and 300 public parking spaces. Amenities include a fitness center, storage areas, a large outdoor deck, expansive hotel-quality lobby, and onsite car-sharing service. Each unit will feature stainless steel appliances, solid-surface countertops, vinyl plank flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, washer and dryer, while select units will also feature private terraces and balconies.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be involved in this complex development and to be co-developing with Golub & Company,” says Clay Iman, development associate at Wood Partners. “This is the result of a tremendous collaboration with the Village of Oak Park and a lot of folks’ tireless efforts over a period of several years.”

Conveniently located just minutes away from the city of Chicago, close to shopping and employment centers such as Oak Brook and the O’Hare office market, Lake + Forest will create approximately 300 temporary construction jobs and 8 property management jobs, and is slated for completion by spring 2016. The property is situated in close proximity to medical campuses (RUSH, Loyola, Cook County Hospital, University of Illinois-Chicago Medical Center) and outdoor recreation areas such as Austin Gardens, Cummings Square and Scoville Park.

“Lake + Forest will enhance downtown Oak Park, an already vibrant and beautiful community, and serve as an anchor development for the village’s east end,” Iman says.

Tishman Construction is the general contractor for the project, while retail leasing will be handled by Golub & Co. and JLL.

Rendering courtesy of Gensler

Braintree Opens New Office at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

15 Oct 2014, 3:19 pm

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Merchandise Mart Chicago

Braintree, a fast-growing global payments platform and subsidiary of eBay Inc. recently celebrated the opening of a new office on the eighth floor of the Merchandise Mart building. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was there to cut the ribbon on Braintree’s new office, showing his support for the city’s growing tech community.

The Chicago-based company moved into the new 65,000-square-foot headquarters on October 9, and is expected to create 216 new jobs in the city in 2016 and another 144 jobs in 2017 to fill out the new space. According to a news release, Braintree currently employs 180 people in the city of Chicago.

“Braintree’s commitment to growth in Chicago is a testament to the depth of talent in our workforce and the vitality of the city’s tech economy,” Emanuel says. “In three years, Chicago has added 10,000 new jobs in technology and companies like Braintree are critical to continuing that growth and helping to achieve our goal of doubling the City’s tech workforce in the next decade.”

The Merchandise Mart is home to a number of other tech companies such as Razorfish, Motorola Mobility, GoHealth, MATTER and technology hub 1871. San Francisco-based company Yelp has also signed a lease for over 50,000 square feet of space on the building’s fourth floor, and intends to hire up to 300 people in the new office in the next couple of years.

Braintree’s former 27,000-square-foot office at 111 N. Canal in the West Loop will be subleased by Chicago-based tech company Signal. 111 N. Canal will also house the corporate headquarters for Illinois-based wireless provider Gogo, which is expected to take over 232,000 square feet of office space.

“Mayor Emanuel has been an incredible supporter of Braintree and the Chicago tech community,” says Bill Ready, chief executive for Braintree. “We’re honored to have him open the doors to our new Chicago office.”

 Image courtesy of Merchandise Mart.com

Method’s Manufacturing Plant to House World’s Largest Rooftop Farm

11 Oct 2014, 2:57 am

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Method manufacturing plant

Just a few months after revealing plans for its first U.S. manufacturing plant, San Francisco-based Method is raising the bar once more. The company, together with New York-based Gotham Greens, recently unveiled plans to build the world’s largest rooftop farm at Method’s new manufacturing plant in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood.

Intended to become the world’s first LEED Platinum certified facility in the consumer packaged goods industry, Method’s new manufacturing plant will house a state-of-the-art agricultural greenhouse facility on its roof, designed and built by Gotham Greens. According to a news release, the greenhouse will produce up to 1 million pounds of fresh, pesticide-free produce every year.

“Chicago has shown remarkable leadership in urban farming and green building over the past decade,” said Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens. “We’re particularly honored to be partnering with Method and the Pullman Park development and community. We are dedicated to providing our customers and local residents with the freshest and best tasting, hyper-local produce available, 365 days of the year.”

The fresh produce will be distributed amongst local Chicago farmer’s markets, restaurants and retailers. Gotham Greens’ irrigation methods eliminate the need for pesticide use, minimize the risk of foodborne pathogens like E. coli and salmonella, and eliminate the carbon footprint linked to shipping produce across the country by growing produce locally.

“Gotham Greens shares our goal of using business as a force for social and environmental good,” said Drew Fraser, Method CEO. “We are thrilled to partner with a like-minded organization, who has demonstrated that the innovative, adaptive use of urban space can make a significant impact on local communities.”

Method’s innovative manufacturing plant is slated for completion in early 2015.

Rendering courtesy of Method

One Response to Chicago Archive

  1. Joselyn Overley

    Sep. 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I just think it’s too hard for small businesses to try to purchase a property, renting or leasing is their only real option

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