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Today’s number: 373

Friday, Mar 21, 2014

* From Site Selection Magazine

By securing more corporate facility investment projects than any other metro area in the U.S. last year, Chicago took home the trophy as the Top Metro in America.

With 373 facility deals, Illinois’ largest city easily outdistanced its closest competition — second-place Houston with 255 projects and third-place Dallas-Fort Worth with 178. Atlanta (164) and Detroit (129) rounded out the top five. […]

A case in point is Chicago’s emergence as a data center hub for the Midwest. Last year, the Chicago area won significant data center facility investments from Equinix, Latisys and others, as well as significant IT infrastructure investments from Google, Gogo, Groupon, Paylocity and Huron Consulting. And in February, Hyatt Hotels moved 60 IT jobs downtown from the suburbs.

“We have basically two major locations in Chicago — one downtown and another one in Elk Grove Village near O’Hare,” says Howard Horowitz, senior vice president of global real estate for Equinix, the world’s largest data center colocation facility provider. “We have done several phases of buildout of 275,000 sq. ft. [25,547 sq. m.] over time. To date, we have invested over $200 million in the Elk Grove Village project. We have incrementally increased our presence in downtown Chicago, and we are currently involved in a project for a new build in the McCormick Place area.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


18 Comments
  1. - bored now - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    as the saying goes, the business of chicago is business. but don’t tell the republicans, because the (business) model of chicago doesn’t fit with their (political) model for business…


  2. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    The only downside of colo is that the jobs created (people who will work there full time) is low vs the amount of money invested.

    Also a big driver of the colo stuff, the evil financial industry.


  3. - Palm Tree - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    It’s a wonder that we still lost over 20,000 jobs last month.


  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    –By securing more corporate facility investment projects than any other metro area in the U.S. last year, Chicago took home the trophy as the Top Metro in America.–

    Yeah, but it was just to build welfare and food stamp offices to blow all the tax dollars raised from southern Illinois.


  5. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    I thought Illinois was a horrible place for business. Darn the news that doesn’t support that accusation.


  6. - Walker - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Site Selection Magazine (non-partisan and national) says we’re number one in America for businesses selecting places to grow.

    Not just in the top half, Number 1!

    The Chicago Tribune calls us “broken” and claims we are causing business to leave us in droves.

    It used to be that the business leaders in Chicago touted our city and state around the world, to help build a better environment for us all to succeed. That’s one source of our “windy city” moniker.

    Now a select few of them badmouth our city and state just to get lower taxes and less regulation for themselves individually.

    How the concept of “corporate citizenship” has changed in the last 35 years!


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    What Walker said.

    They’re misanthropes. Makes me sick.


  8. - PoolGuy - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    thanks for posting Rich. these rankings came out almost 3 weeks ago and hardly any press. hardly anyone wants to point out the positive stuff.


  9. - Secret Square - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Should have posted my question from the millionaire tax thread here… how many NEW jobs, i.e. not already occupied by someone moving in from elsewhere, do all these facilities create.

    “in February, Hyatt Hotels moved 60 IT jobs downtown from the suburbs”

    A net gain of jobs to Chicago, but NOT to Illinois since these jobs were simply shifted from the suburbs. In how many other instances among the 373 facility deals did this occur?


  10. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    I freelance in Chicago and the suburbs, and state government never comes up in business. It’s just not on the radar, one way or the other.

    Downstate looks to Springfield a lot more.


  11. - Anonymiss - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    The Site Selection item is mentioned at the end of this fairly painful interview with Rahm:

    http://www.msnbc.com/the-daily-rundown/watch/emanuel-chicago-will-be-100-college-ready-201075267595?cid=sm_facebook_video


  12. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    From a Sun-Times article on the Site Selection report: “The magazine counted businesses that made a capital investment of at least $1 million, created at least 50 jobs or added 20,000 square feet of new floor area.” That’s significant new investment, no matter how you try to parse it.


  13. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    This does seem to play against the one percenters’ narrative.


  14. - PoolGuy - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    Chicago has been #1 or #2 in Site Selection rankings the past 5 years, but yes Norseman you are correct.


  15. - G'Kar - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Walker’s 11:24 comment is one of the best I’ve read this week.


  16. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    To follow up on Walker, the top willfully ignorant misanthrope at the Trib, Kass, had a maudlin column a few weeks ago in which he asserted that Chicago and Illinois are no longer places that attract immigrants.

    Can you imagine the mind of a person who navigates Chicago and the suburbs on a daily basis and sees no immigrants? And he’s supposed to be an in-the-know guy?

    The Trib is a parody of its former self.


  17. - Secret Square - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    “The magazine counted businesses that made a capital investment of at least $1 million, created at least 50 jobs or added 20,000 square feet of new floor area”

    Thanks, that explains it better. Significant new investment indeed, though perhaps not of the kind that is visible or obvious to people not employed in the affected fields.


  18. - A guy... - Friday, Mar 21, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    The new infrastructure (data center) relies on the same principles as the old infrastructure (highways, railroads, shipping canals, airport hub, etc). Being geographically in the middle of and accessible in the greatest country in the history of the planet is very helpful and offers great advantages. It just does. St. Louis and Mnpls get our crumbs when it comes to this stuff.


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