John Carpenter On Why Real Estate Developers Should Choose DuPage
Choose DuPage CEO John Carpenter is aggressively pursuing business in DuPage County. Before he speaks at Bisnow’s “State of the Suburbs” event, Aug. 23 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, John laid out four approaches he’s identified for further economic growth and development in the area.
He's an expert at the power of persuasion. Before John (pictured with Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger at an event in May) joined Choose DuPage last September, he was SVP at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, where he was responsible for public policy initiatives and leading the charge on legislative affairs. Prior to that he was VP of corporate affairs for American Airlines. John says he inherited a wonderfully talented staff that is dedicated to championing DuPage County as an complement to downtown Chicago as an economic generator. Here's what John has planned to compel business leaders and commercial real estate professionals to, well, choose DuPage County for their next major projects.
1. Commercializing Ideas At Argonne National Laboratory
In May, Argonne National Laboratory launched Chain Reaction Innovations (CIR), a onsite tech incubator for science and energy entrepreneurs, and is working with Choose DuPage to attract companies that would best benefit from Argonne’s world-class facilities and research. John says Argonne’s incubator is different from Choose DuPage’s Rev3 Innovation Center, which is geared toward innovation startups.
2. Solving The “Last Mile” Commute Problem
One persistent issue with companies that call the suburbs home is finding ways to make the commutes of office workers who choose not to drive to their jobs easier. Many office buildings aren't conveniently located to public transit alternatives such as train stations, a problem known as the last-mile commute. John says Choose DuPage and Burr Ridge-based Innova EV are exploring a pilot program with Metra that would use two-, four- and eight-passenger electric vehicles to get employees to work. If successful, it could lay the groundwork for similar programs throughout DuPage County. John says Choose DuPage is also exploring other options, such as bike share programs, with business leaders.
3. Developing And Encouraging Growth At DuPage Business Center
This 800-acre campus in West Chicago has a diverse communication system and accessible utilities onsite, allowing for a variety of layout and facility designs including build-to-suit, and has access to a broad transportation network John says has been underutilized for some time. John tells us Choose DuPage is talking with several interested parties about relocating to DuPage Business Center. DS Containers is adding 251k SF to its lease and will occupy a total footprint of 551k SF.
4. Facilitating Western Access To O’Hare Airport
This is well underway, with the ongoing extension of the Elgin-O’Hare expressway. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2025, dovetails with the Chicago Aviation Department’s expansion and modernization of O’Hare International Airport. Having simpler access to O’Hare from the western suburbs will save $145M in travel delays by 2020; create over 13,000 jobs annually during the project; boost local tax revenues by $29M annually; and most important, lay the groundwork for the creation of 65,000 jobs by 2040.
To learn more from John and our other expert panelists, please attend Bisnow’s “State of the Suburbs” event, 7am Tuesday, Aug. 23 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center. Register here.