Chicago Growing, October 2012


This month, Abe’s Market, a natural goods ecommerce site, announced it is moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago in order to accommodate growth and access Chicago’s vast talent pool and burgeoning tech community.

The announcement closely follows Mayor Emanuel’s announcement of 2,000 collective jobs in Chicago, among nearly 20 leading technology companies, by 2015. The companies run the gamut from healthcare and education to retail services providers, information technology providers and even technology-based fashion companies. The Mayor stood with the companies last month at GrubHub’s new downtown headquarters at 111 W. Washington, where that company has committed to adding 250 jobs over the next three years.

“The growth of these companies and the vibrancy of this sector are important for our overall economic development,” said Michael Sacks, Vice Chairman of World Business Chicago. “This announcement is further evidence that Chicago is an environment where innovation can flourish, entrepreneurs can build great businesses and investors can enjoy good returns.”

Numerous other industries are flourishing in Chicago, as well. Below is a sample of companies that announced plans to expand, or have expanded in Chicago from July through September of 2012:

  • The Academy of General Dentistry, the second-largest dental association in the U.S., plans to more than double the size of its headquarters next year after buying 58,000 square feet at 560-66 W. Lake St.
  • Advocate Health Care, the nonprofit health care system, announced plans for a three-story Center for Advanced Care at Illinois Masonic Medical Center located at 836 W. Wellington Ave.
  • Aleksandra Enterprises purchased a 24,000-square-foot office/industrial building at 1500 W. Cortland St. in Chicago, housing the corporate headquarters and national wholesale distribution center for Russian Pointe professional dancewear and dance supplies.
  • AnswersMedia Inc., a media company with services including interactive software and video production, leased the 24,000-square-foot third floor at 30 N. Racine/1201 W. Washington Blvd. to allow for expansion.
  • BenchPrep, a Chicago-based company that creates interactive electronic versions of textbooks, raised $6 million in venture capital, and plans to increase its staff.
  • Blue River Partners, a provider of outsourced compliance and operations support services to new and existing investment managers, has opened its third office in Chicago.
  • Bluewolf, a global agile business consulting firm, announced the opening of a new office in Chicago at 155 N. Wacker Dr.
  • Boomerang, a Chicago-based startup that enables gift-giving through Facebook, launched recently with $1 million in seed funding from local venture capital firm, Lightbank.
  • BrightFarms Inc., a New York-based urban gardening company, announced plans to build a 45,000-square-foot greenhouse atop 2500 W. Bradley Place.
  • BrightTag, a Chicago-based advertising-technology startup raised another $15 million in venture capital, led by Baird Venture Partners; the company has raised $23 million to date.
  • BTS USA, Inc., a business strategy implementation company that uses experiential learning practices, leased 6,041 square feet at 200 S. Wacker Dr.
  • CBIZ Gibraltar, a commercial real estate advisory firm, signed a lease to occupy 38,142 square feet at 225 W. Wacker Dr.
  • Cedar Street Cos., a real estate investment, development and management firm, announced plans to move its headquarters to a building it purchased at 1025 W. Sunnyside Ave.
  • Cleversafe, a Chicago object-based storage solution company, committed to adding 150 jobs in Chicago by 2015.
  • Comcast Spotlight, an advertising sales subsidiary of Comcast Corp., expanded its offices at 444 N. Michigan Ave., signing a 10-year lease for 20,000 square feet to accommodate added employees.
  • comScore, a Chicago-based digital marketing intelligence company, announced a commitment to add 25 jobs in Chicago by 2013.
  • Consulate General of the Philippines in Chicago expanded, leasing approximately 7,500 square feet at 122 S. Michigan Ave.
  • Creative Circle LLC, a Los Angeles-based staffing firm specializing in the advertising and marketing industries, is doubling its Chicago office space as part of a move to the former IBM Building at 330 N. Wabash Ave.
  • DraftFCB, an advertising company, announced plans to consolidate its two current Chicago offices into a new headquarters in The John Hancock Center at 875 N. Michigan Ave., one of the largest new leases signed downtown in 2012.
  • East-West University, a private college in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, presented plans for a 17-story, 165,000-square-foot academic tower and dormitory at 825-31 S. Wabash Ave.
  • Eastspring Investments, the asset management subsidiary of UK-based Prudential, expanded into the U.S., placing the headquarters for its Americas business at 225 W. Wacker Dr.
  • Echo Global Logistics Inc., a Chicago-based transportation management provider with just over 600 people in Chicago, plans to add several hundred more employees this year.
  • EMC Corporation, a leading provider of information technology, announced it will open a new office and add 200 jobs in Chicago over the next two years.
  • Engineered Recycling Co. LLC, a North Carolina-based company, leased approximately 54,000 square feet of space in an industrial building at 4100 W. 76th St. for a plastic recycling facility.
  • The Federal Savings Bank, announced the funding of a new national home loan center, bringing 400 new jobs to Chicago.
  • FlexPrint Inc., a national provider of managed print solutions and document management, opened a new regional office in Chicago.
  • Food Genius, a Chicago-based start-up “graduated from 1871,” leasing 1,500 square feet on W. Erie St. in River North.
  • Forum Studio, a St. Louis-based architecture firm (a subsidiary of Clayco), leased space in Chicago, noting the company’s ability to recruit talent and the city’s infrastructure.
  • Gannett Co., a Virginia-based media firm is expanding at 225 N. Michigan Ave., adding 10,000 square feet to bring its total to 49,000.
  • Gorilla Commerce, a Chicago-based full-service ecommerce solution provider, announced a commitment to create 50 jobs by 2013.
  • Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P., an investment firm, expanded into 96,462 square feet at 900 N. Michigan Ave.
  • Guggenheim Partners LLC, a global financial services firm, more than doubled its assets since the end of 2010, with plans to take more space in the city.
  • HKS Architects, a Dallas-based firm, which leased 6,400 square feet in the Burnham Center earlier this year, announced expectations to double or nearly triple its staff.
  • Hyper Marketing, Inc., an independent marketing-services network, signed a 23,083-square-foot lease for the top two floors in the Monroe Building at 104 S. Michigan Ave.
  • idX Corporation, a Missouri-based retail fixture manufacturer, opened an office in Chicago at 224-230 W. Huron St.
  • InnerWorkings, a technology company that helps businesses with print procurement, plans to double its local headcount to about 400 employees by year-end, signing a new long-term lease for 20,000 square feet at 600 W. Chicago Ave.
  • Intouch Solutions Inc., a Kansas-based digital advertising agency that specializes in pharmaceutical clients, leased 22,000 square feet at 205 N. Michigan Ave., to accommodate future growth.
  • IPXI Holdings LLC, the world’s first financial exchange focused on intellectual property, leased 3,932 square feet at 10 S. LaSalle St.
  • J.S. Richter, Ltd., an accounting firm specializing in U.S. subsidiaries of German, Swiss, and Austria-owned business enterprises., leased 2,687 square feet of space at 200 S. Wacker Dr.
  • Jeeves Information Systems, a leading developer of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, announced it has established a new headquarters for North American operations at 122 S. Michigan Ave.
  • The John Marshall Law School officially opened its new $6 million entrance at 304 S. State St., and will soon complete the renovation of 19 W. Jackson Blvd. in the Loop.
  • kCura, developers of web-based litigation tools, announced it has hired more than 100 employees in Chicago in 2012, and plans to add at least another 150 by 2015.
  • KPMG, the global network of professional firms providing audit, advisory and tax services, announced a continued rapid expansion of its Chicago office, committing to adding 500 new jobs over the next five years.
  • Lightswitch, a Chicago company that helps local businesses find new customers using online video, announced a commitment to adding 140 jobs in the city by 2014.
  • McGladrey LLP, an assurance, tax and consulting services firm, will move its headquarters from Minnesota to Chicago, adding 300 to 500 new positions.
  • Meaden & Moore, a full service CPA/accounting firm headquartered in Ohio, leased 7,908 square feet at 200 S. Wacker Dr.
  • Midwest Truck & Auto Parts Inc., a distributor of truck and auto parts, purchased the 48,000-square-foot building at 850 W. Exchange in Chicago for its expansion.
  • Navisis Financial, an established group of independent investment executives, leased 8,434 square feet at 200 S. Wacker Dr.
  • Networked Insights, a Chicago-based company that specializes in real-time consumer data, committed to adding more than 120 jobs in Chicago by 2013.
  • New Chapter Entertainment, a Chicago TV production and entertainment company, launched in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood by two former Oprah producers.
  • Nicholas Financial, a Florida-based, publicly-traded specialty consumer finance company, opened a new branch in Chicago.
  • Nomura Holdings, a Japan-based global investment bank, has opened a sales office in Chicago at 1 N. Wacker Dr.
  • Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine leased 61,750 square feet at 633 N. St. Clair St., underscoring the growth of the medical school and other health care institutions in Streeterville.
  • The Onion, the satirical national newspaper, will relocate 100 employees to new Chicago offices after recently consolidating all media operations to the city and acquiring a studio in River North for digital video production.
  • OpenX, a California-based online advertising technology firm, has opened a new data center in Chicago to support the company’s online advertising marketplace.
  • Pace Harmon, a Virginia-based advisory and management consulting firm, has opened a new office in Chicago to accommodate Midwest clients.
  • Polsinelli Shughart P.C., a Kansas City-based law firm, is expanding its Chicago office at 161 N. Clark St. by nearly 43 percent, leasing 60,000 square feet.
  • The Presidio Group, a San Francisco-based a capital advisory firm, has opened an office in Chicago located at 155 N. Wacker Dr.
  • Ratio Architects Inc., an Indianapolis-based firm, recently moved 17 associates into an 8,000-square-foot space in the NBC Tower off Michigan Ave.
  • Razorfish, the digital marketing and advertising company owned by Publicis, has hired about 100 more people since opening its Chicago office, and plans to further expand its space within the Merchandise Mart.
  • Recsolu, a Chicago-based campus and diversity recruiting software, solutions, and services company, has recently grown to 75 employees through hires and acquisitions and expects to have 250 employees by the end of 2013.
  • Regus PLC, the temporary office space provider, is expanding its presence in Chicago, including a recent lease signed in Lincoln Park.
  • Resource Point of Sale is relocating its computer hardware repair operations to 74,800 square feet of industrial space at 1765 N. Elston Ave., where the company will add 10 new positions to its 35-person workforce.
  • Reznick Group, a top 20 accounting firm based in Maryland, announced it will move its Midwest headquarters from Skokie to Chicago, bringing 150 to 200 jobs to downtown by the end of 2015.
  • Rise Interactive, a Chicago-based digital marketing company that leverages customized reporting to allocate budgets for the best ROI, has committed to adding 60 jobs in Chicago by 2013.
  • Roundarch Isobar, a digital design firm located downtown, announced plans to double staff, adding 150-200 jobs over the next 5 years.
  • Sagence Group LLC, a fast-growing data analytics firm, announced plans to expand to 245 employees within three years, leasing 9,500 square feet at 525 W. Monroe St. in the West Loop.
  • Savage Services, a Utah-based company, announced plans to build a $12.7 million sulfur pelt manufacturing plant in Chicago.
  • Sears Holdings Corp. is expanding in the Loop, increasing its office space by 29 percent on State St., where it has more than tripled its ecommerce workforce in the past three years to 500 employees.
  • Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, a Las Angeles-based law firm, announced the opening of a Chicago office at 70 W. Madison St. that will specialize in health care, technology, insurance, private equity and advertising clients.
  • ShopperTrak RCT Corp., a Chicago company that measures retail foot traffic and other shopping patterns, leased 52,450 square feet in the Willis Tower, where it expects to hire additional employees.
  • SingleHop, a Chicago-based dedicated server, cloud hosting, and managed services company committed to adding 300 jobs in Chicago by 2015.
  • SMS Assist, a web-based outsourcer and manager of high-frequency facility maintenance services based in Chicago, committed to adding at least 50 jobs in the city by 2013.
  • SocialKaty, a Chicago-based full service social media marketing agency, committed to adding at least 25 jobs in Chicago by 2014.
  • Spotlite, a Chicago based benefits company that utilizes cloud-based technology, committed to adding more than 25 jobs in Chicago by 2014.
  • SproutSocial, a Chicago-based social media management tool company that came out of Lightbank, announced a commitment to add at least 125 jobs in Chicago by 2015.
  • St. Anthony Hospital is planning $400 million community campus project on the Southwest Side, a 1-million-square-foot development at 31st St. and Kedzie Ave.
  • Stainless Sales Corp., a company focused on stainless steel slit coil from gauges, has signed a new lease for an additional 38,812 square feet at 2310 W. 57th St. in Chicago.
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital has opened its first downtown location in Streeterville, an $11 million medical office at 160 E. Illinois St.
  • Tactical Allocation Group, a Michigan-based registered investment adviser, opened a new office in Chicago at 200 S. Wacker Dr.
  • Total Attorneys, a leading cloud-based practice management and customer acquisition platform for attorneys, committed to adding 50 jobs in the city by 2015.
  • Total Quality Logistics, a Cincinnati-based company that opened an office in Chicago’s West Loop three years ago, now has 90 employees and plans to hire another 50.
  • Trunk Club, a personalized clothing service based in Chicago, has committed to adding 150 jobs by 2015.
  • Trisect LLC, a marketing firm, moved into a new 30,000 square-foot headquarters in the West Loop at 130 S. Jefferson St., to accommodate rapid growth.
  • Twenty-Three Corp. plans to build a 25,000-square-foot, $1.3-million indoor sports center for youth programs and competitive leagues, attached to an existing three-story building at 2824 W. Taylor St. which will be utilized for offices, locker rooms and meeting space.
  • Ulmer & Berne LLP, a Cleveland-based law firm, is expanding in the Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison St., after adding 22 lawyers locally over the past three years.
  • United Airlines announced five new round-trip flights that will emanate from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, extending Chicago’s accessibility and leadership in transportation.
  • Vosges Haut-Chocolat bought a 42,360-square-foot industrial building on the North Side where it plans to make and package its high-end chocolate.
  • Walgreen Co. announced plans to create 500 new jobs in its three high-growth divisions: online (walgreens.com), pharmacy and health and wellness.
  • Warmbrodt Hotel Investments, Inc., a lodging investment brokerage firm, announced the opening of a Chicago office at 22 W. Washington.
  • Wintrust Financial Corporation, a financial holding company with a large presence in metropolitan Chicago and Milwaukee, opened its first Loop location at 70 W. Madison St. (Three First National Plaza).
  • Zurich, a commercial property-casualty insurance provider, announced it will increase its presence in Chicago, adding 150 jobs over the next few years.

Share: