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The next bidding war?

Thursday, Dec 19, 2013

* Now that ADM has decided to open its new global headquarters in Chicago, the company is putting a new tech center up for bids. Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants that tech center and is trying to claim credit for the HQ decision as well

“The mayor’s message this morning was, ‘OK, great, fantastic (about the ADM headquarters). Don’t celebrate too long. Let’s get really focused on winning the tech center,’” said Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, the mayor’s point man on attracting businesses to the city.

In fact, at one point while ADM was considering where to locate its global headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a presentation to the company’s board of directors and responded to questions, a source familiar with the meeting said. The meeting took place Oct. 30 at the Modern Wing at the Art Institute.

I’m told by people close to the situation, however, that Gov. Pat Quinn made a strong, sustained personal effort to persuade ADM CEO Patricia Woertz to move the headquarters to Chicago without tax incentives.

* Quinn also wants the tech center, but within some limits

Gov. Pat Quinn said the state will continue to pursue the technology center, saying ADM officials indicated that matter was “still open for competition.” The governor would not rule out some form of taxpayer-funded help to lure the center to Illinois but cautioned the state would not be handing out tax breaks “willy-nilly.”

“I don’t think that’s a good way to go,” Quinn said. “I think it’s better to be very precise with each and every company that comes to us.'’

“Our best way of helping the most companies is to invest in public works like roads, highways, railroads and water systems and to help them with their job training, with their educated, skilled workforce that we’ve got in abundance,” Quinn said.

* Sen. Andy Manar thinks the old way may be dead

“The things that have been done in the past, long before I arrived in the state Senate, I would say have come to an end.”

Manar tried to shepherd legislation through the statehouse that would have given ADM nearly $30 million in tax breaks. The company, however, would have to hire 500 people in Decatur.

“I think the EDGE tax credit program needs some hefty reforms. I think we need to have that robust conversation, and I think (my legislation) is a good place to start,” Manar told Illinois Watchdog. […]

“If these things are going to come before the Legislature again, we should look at what the Senate passed for ADM,” Manar said. “That’s a good framework, in my mind, on how to achieve balance with (tax credits).”

* Not surprisingly, the Decatur newspaper isn’t happy

Central Illinois should not, however, be upset with ADM. Moving the world headquarters is an understandable business decision and no one should forget that 4,400 jobs will remain in Decatur and that Decatur will remain as the North American headquarters.

But Central Illinois has every reason to feel slighted by its state government. After handing out tax incentives for years, Madigan and others suddenly decided it was time to change course. That decision came as the center of the state was finally going to benefit from a tax incentive package. It’s hard to believe that was a coincidence.

It’s good that ADM is keeping its world headquarters in Chicago. But it seems the state missed a chance for a bigger world headquarters, a technology center, and most importantly to add jobs in Central Illinois.

That doesn’t seem like a win.

* Meanwhile, in other corporate news

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office says Chicago and state officials have reached a deal with an Indiana company that will require it to remove huge black piles of petroleum coke from the city’s Southeast Side.

Known as “petcoke,” the material is a powdery byproduct of oil refining that’s been accumulating along Midwest shipping channels and sparking health and environmental concerns.

Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan plan to announce the deal Thursday.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


13 Comments
  1. - walkinfool - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 10:18 am:

    Indiana company dumping major waste across the border in Illinois.

    Cute.


  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 10:24 am:

    – “The mayor’s message this morning was, ‘OK, great, fantastic (about the ADM headquarters). Don’t celebrate too long. Let’s get really focused on winning the tech center,’” said Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, the mayor’s point man on attracting businesses to the city.–

    LOL, dig this guy. Like Emanuel or his crew have had anything to do with making Chicago the fourth largest metro economy in the world.

    ADM will put the tech center where it works best for them. They’ll take the money that politicians will throw at them in order to issue expensive press releases, but they’re just playing the chumps.

    Guys like Koch would be more productive if they grabbed a shovel and started removing petcoke from the Southeast Side.


  3. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    I would like to think that senator Manar is correct in that the state has ended the process of caving into the blackmail demands that companies have been holding out for like in the past, but I think this time they just knew ADM was coming to Chicago anyway. We will see the next time a CEO has a presser to explain how Texas or Ohio has offered X to get then to move. Then we will see if it true.


  4. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    If ADM wants the tech center close by or integrated into their commodities trading center, it will end up in the Chicago area. The closer they can get to CME’s computers, the better the response time; it’s all about propigation delay. A millisecond here and there can provide a very slight advantage. Plus there is a huge amount of computer talent in Chicago. As one person I know used to joke, he could change jobs without changing parking spaces.

    I’m betting on Chicagoland …


  5. - For Whatever It's Worth - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 11:01 am:

    Even though I do not support blackmail techniques on the part of large corporations, I fully support the state reaching out and working with corporations that will be creating additional good jobs in our state.


  6. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    Typically, I am not a proponent of smokestack chasing politics, but it must be said that ADM could make the case as being the #1 job creator in Illinois history.

    ADM has been one of the main leaders in developing technologies and markets for Soybeans, especially soybean oil (vegetable oil).

    Prior to 1929, soybeans were a minor crop, grown mostly in North Carolina. Research at the University of Illinois, ADM, Staley, etc. broke ground for oil extraction and new markets for soybeans.

    The Illinois prairie has proven to be an excellent environment for soybean growing.

    It is fair to say, ADM makes a positive economic impact on every community in this State.

    54% of Illinois soybeans are exported (new money coming into our economy).

    The Illinois agriculture economy is about $5 billion and provides $1.5 million jobs (directly and indirectly). $2.8 billion is directly related to soybeans.


  7. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    Bribing corporations w/ tax dollars when the gap between the workers and the executives is appalling.


  8. - thinking - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    It would be an interesting FOIA to see if any grants were given by the state to ADM to keep them in the state. That way people would not know about the money.


  9. - train111 - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    The whole Petcoke thing is a side product of refining heavy Canadian tar sands oil. (damn those unforseen consequenses!!!!) The BP refinery in Whiting has been partially retrofitted to refine this stuff, and will be further converted theis year producing even more pet coke.
    This is only 1 of the 2 companys storing petcoke anyways. KCBX (the infamous Koch Bros) will probably still be storing and shipping it. (It is eventually loaded on ships and used as fuel overseas. It is not readily used in the US due to pollutiuon standards)
    Incidentally a section of railroad trackage on the southeast side of Chicago is being rehabbed/rebuilt for a quicker route to operate trains of petcoke from the BP refinery to KCBX.

    train111


  10. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    Would the old Chanute Air Force base interest ADM?
    I believe there’s still a runway there. Chicago could work on a Tech center and downstate could get some much needed jobs.


  11. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    –A millisecond here and there can provide a very slight advantage.–

    Or a huge one.

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/thompson-reuters-gives-elite-traders-an-advantage-with-early-release-of-university-of-michigan-consu/


  12. - DuPage - Thursday, Dec 19, 13 @ 8:35 pm:

    @Anonymous 11:39, It might be better for Boeing. They require a large site with an airport next to it so the planes they make can take off and fly to be delivered. Perfect.


  13. - PublicServant - Friday, Dec 20, 13 @ 8:50 am:

    Uhmmm, the University of Illinois is a much bigger employer than ADM, and does much more for the Illinois economy, but those employees are those filthy, greedy state employees. Sometimes (all the time) right wing ideologues don’t realize the economic impact of the public sector on a variety of levels (workforce education, tax multipliers, my spending is, after all, your income).


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