Chicago Growing, September 2011


JMC Steel Group, the country’s largest manufacturer of tubular products, recently announced its intent to move the company’s corporate headquarters, including 100 new and retained executive positions to 227. W. Monroe St. in Chicago.
Currently headquartered outside of Cleveland, the company already has 50 executive jobs in Chicago, and plans to add another 50 with the move. In addition, JMC has two Chicago-based manufacturing facilities, Wheatland Tube and Atlas Tube, which employ 286 collectively.

The company chose Chicago in order to increase its global competitiveness, and enhance its marketing efforts after a recent organizational restructuring that will broaden its product lines.

Additionally, over the last few months, companies across all sectors have identified Chicago as a great place to expand. GE Capital CEO Daniel Henson stated simply, “It makes sense to grow here,” while announcing the addition of 1,000 new Chicago jobs. Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown highlighted Chicago’s, “great universities, great work ethic, [and] great research,” as reasons to further his company’s local commitments. And, venture-capital funding in Chicago surged to $215 million in the second quarter of 2011, nearly doubling total investment from a year prior and significantly outpacing the nation.

New this quarter, WBC is including highlights of Chicago businesses that have attracted significant venture-capital investment. Venture capital supports new jobs in Chicago and adds innovative businesses to our local economy. Early-stage funding can bring a new company into operation, while additional funding promotes business growth, expansion into new markets, and the provision of new products or services.

Chicago keeps growing thanks to a diversified field of businesses that want to call our city home:

AgileThought Inc., a national provider of custom software solutions for Fortune 500 companies, has opened an office in Chicago at 33 N. Dearborn St. The office opened with a staff of four and plans to expand to 12 employees by the end of the year.

Allscripts Health Care Solutions Inc. announced plans to hire an additional 300 employees by the end of next year, effectively doubling the size of its Chicago workforce. The company has also agreed to hold their annual convention at McCormick Place in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Braintree Inc., a firm that helps other companies handle electronic payments, raised $34.2 million in venture-capital investment in the second quarter of 2011.

BrightTag Inc., a technology platform provider for the digital marketing industry, raised an additional $5 million in venture capital funding, bringing total funding to $8 million. The round was led by New World Ventures, which was joined by previous investors TomorrowVentures, EPIC Ventures, and the I2A Fund.

CE Sundberg Co. will more than double its size in a move to a 107,200-square-foot building at 5852 W. 51st St. later this year. The appliance parts distributor is relocating its corporate offices and local distribution center.

The Chicago Community Trust is moving into a 24,000 square-foot-space in the Michigan Plaza complex. The organization and its donors gave more than $100 million to area nonprofits in 2010.

EMC Corp., a global leader in information technology,will open a new office in Chicago and bring 200 jobs to the city over the next two years.

Fifth Third Bank is expanding its headquarters in the West Loop by nearly 20 percent. The bank extended its lease at 222 S. Riverside Plaza through March 2024 and added about 35,000 square feet, bringing its total space at Riverside Plaza to 218,000 square feet.

GE Capital cited Chicago’s status as a pro-business city while announcing 1,000 new positions in Chicago, doubling its presence in the city.

Goldwind USA, a subsidiary of the world’s fourth-largest wind turbine manufacturer, located its permanent North American headquarters at 200 W. Madison St., where it is planning for continued growth.

Guerrero Howe, LLC is relocating to a 22,000-square-foot unit at 205 N. Michigan Ave. Representatives for the business-to-business publishing company were attracted to the high-quality amenities of the 1.9 million-square-foot Michigan Plaza office complex.

IntercontinentalExchange Inc. renewed and expanded its lease at 353 N. Clark St. by more than 5,000 square feet for a total of 27,785 square feet.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. announced plans to create 400 jobs in Chicago by the end of next year. The banking giant will also open four new branches in the city.

Local Offer Network, a technology startup that collects online daily deals and displays them in a single feed, has raised $1.5 million from investors including Matthew Pritzker and Illinois Ventures.

Mainstream Renewable Power has expanded at their current location, 190 S. LaSalle St., adding 750 square feet to its U.S. headquarters.

Merge Healthcare Inc. doubled its revenue in the first quarter of 2011 after acquiring Amicas Inc. in spring 2010. Revenue for the medical software maker was $52.7 million in the first quarter of this year compared to $20 million for the same period a year ago.

Momentum Worldwide expanded to 23,000 square feet at 444 N. Michigan Ave., an increase of over 8,000 square feet for the marketing agency.

Motorola Solutions announced it would add 400 jobs in Chicago by the end of 2012. CEO Greg Brown emphasized Chicago’s successful public-private partnerships and Mayor Emanuel’s framework for future expansion and growth in influencing the company’s decision.

Poggled, a daily deals website that focuses on bars and nightclub discounts, raised $5.6 million in second-round venture funding. This round was led by New Enterprises Associates.

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has entered the design phase for a new Research Hospital at 630 N. McClurg Ct. The medical center will comprise approximately 1 million square feet and sit a block south of the institute’s existing facility at 345 E. Superior St.

SAVO Group raised $14 million in funding led by SAP Ventures, including a follow-on investment from Sterling Partners.

SitterCity Inc., an online babysitting service based in Chicago, raised an additional $22.6 million in venture capital from previous investors in the second quarter of 2011.

SMS Assist, a national facilities maintenance company that uses technology to simplify critical maintenance services, has received $15 million from New World Ventures, Chicago’s largest technology venture capital firm.

Trunk Club, a clothing service for men, raised $11 million series A funding led by U.S. Venture Partners. Greycroft Partners, Apex Venture Partners, and Anthos Capital also participated in the round.

United Airlines announced that it will add 1,300 new technology and operations-related jobs to Chicago. This builds on the strong commitment that United Continental Holdings has made to the Loop over the last decade, including the addition of thousands of jobs downtown and the relocation of its headquarters and operations center.

The University of Chicago is developing the William Eckhardt Research Center, a $215 million, 265,000-square-foot building featuring laboratories, offices and conference rooms, on its Hyde Park campus.

Ventas Inc. will move its headquarters to 353 N. Clark St. next year. The Chicago-based senior housing and health care REIT will expand by over 15,000 square feet.

Walgreen Co. has announced plans to add 600 local jobs over the next two years. The company plans to open roughly 40 new stores in so-called “food deserts” and is also adding to its downtown e-commerce and information technology office.

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