Developers and Tech Firms Are Flocking to Dupage. Here's why.
DuPage County has been aggressive and successful in setting itself up as an attractive alternative to Chicago for developers and tech startups in recent years. And that's among the reasons we're excited to host The Future of the West Suburbs and Beyond on June 30 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, starting at 7am.
Choose DuPage CEO Greg Bedalov, who'll be among our panelists, says there are several reasons why developers and businesses are flocking to DuPage County. The county’s 5.3% unemployment rate in Q1 2015 is the lowest in the region and is better than Illinois’ 6.7% rate. Office vacancy rates dropped to 16.8% in Q1 and Greg says there are promising indicators that number will drop further. The industrial vacancy rate (5.7%) is the lowest in the greater Chicago area. Sales tax receipts saw a 5.7% increase in Q1 to $364M.
Greg says his team actively meets and networks with potential developers and business owners, and has a robust marketing program targeting the tech, life sciences, bio and industrial sectors. One of the centerpieces of Choose DuPage’s efforts is the new Rev3 Innovation center (pictured), which opened Dec. 1 and now boasts 23 members. Choose DuPage business services director Nick Zito tells us Rev3’s goal is to combine tech with traditional manufacturing. Chicago has 66 innovation hubs; only two were in the collar counties.
Choose DuPage Economic Development director Bryan Gay says the group’s upcoming 2014 annual report will show how robust development has been in the county. One of the larger projects is a 400k SF warehouse at 1350 Munger Rd in Bartlett (pictured), which was bought by Creative Werks last December and will be used to manufacture packaging components and powered by wind energy.
Another manufacturer, Acuity Brands, bought a 320k SF facility at 1200-1220 Central Rd in Hanover Park (pictured). Acuity Brands is one of the world’s leading providers for indoor and outdoor lighting applications, with over $2.4B in net sales last year. To learn more, please join us for The Future of the West Suburbs and Beyond on June 30 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, starting at 7am. Register here.