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Site Selection ranks Chicago metro 1st in nation

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019

* Site Selection Magazine

Greater Chicago once again has finished No. 1 in the nation in Site Selection’s annual Top Metros rankings, based on qualified corporate facility investment projects during the previous calendar year. The projects range from the massive distribution cluster in Will County populated by such firms as Diageo and IKEA to the office and manufacturing projects landing in such places as Arlington Heights, Wheeling, Bolingbrook, Elgin, Carol Stream and Naperville from the likes of Faber-Castell, IHerb, G&W Electric and Givaudan Flavors.

But the core of activity is in Cook County, where projects last year came from Facebook, Walgreens, Northrop Grumman and Komatsu, among others. Joining their ranks early this year (with a project to be counted toward the next year-end tally) was Ford Motor Company, which pledged to invest $1 billion and create 500 new jobs at its Chicago Stamping and Assembly plants that will bring total payroll to 5,800. […]

In addition to hosting the second highest concentration of computer science graduates in the U.S. and ranking sixth in the number of STEM workers who live there, Greater Chicago startups lead the nation in venture returns, with an 8.5x multiple on invested capital. Some of that capital has come thanks to the efforts of venture capitalist and billionaire J.B. Pritzker, Penny Pritzker’s brother and the newly elected governor of Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - A guy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    Pleasant news.

  2. - JoanP - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    But I thought Illinois was an enemy to businesses and they were all fleeing the state in droves.

    Are they saying we shouldn’t believe the Trib?


  3. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    Because…Madigan! Via @FakeIllinoisPolicy

  4. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    But, but, but how could this be? People are leaving Illinois no one wants to be here.

    This is bad news for the GOP they can’t stand the thought of someone saying anything positive about Illinois, let alone Chicago.

  5. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    Must he commuting from Wisconsin.

  6. - What's in a name? - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    Despite Rauner, I am a reborn optimist.

  7. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    “Penny Pritzker’s brother”


  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    “Illinois is the worst”

    - a former governor.

    This is great to see. Chicagoland is the state economic engine.

    To think, ignorant downstate Raunerites still want to secede from She-Caw-Go… wonder why.

  9. - Northsider - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    This, without a hurricane. Who knew?

  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    What do you call this — the Illinois Influx of private capital? Capital that can seek returns anywhere in the world?

    –Chicago startups lead the nation in venture returns, with an 8.5x multiple on invested capital.–

    Maybe hold off on that Old Testament, Katrina-like storm for a little while longer.

  11. - Old Illini - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    What? Good News? I don’t know how to handle that.

  12. - Anotheretiree - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    People should be careful asking Chicago to leave Illinois. It is Illinois.

  13. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    ===second highest concentration of computer science graduates===

    Amazing what an educated workforce can do for an economy. It might even convince a few folks to stick around longer. Now, if only there were some way for the state to support education at all levels…

  14. - City Zen - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    I think we’ve won this award since 2013.

  15. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    CZ. I would hate to think where we would be if it weren’t such a great place to do business. Any idea where it all went wrong?

  16. - Chunga - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    Madigan - and the top rating Metro areas he controls

  17. - RedIllinois - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    Paying off an alderman to open a lemonade stand must not be considered a bad thing at site selection magazine.

  18. - Scamp640 - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:39 am:

    But wait, Illinois is a terrible place to be, no? Don’t other Midwestern states have better business climates? Not according to the left-wing, anti-capitalist, Site Selection Magazine. I would like to hear how the shameless ideologues at the Illinois Policy Institute would explain this ranking.

    If you read through the Site Selection magazine, you find that Chicago, and Illinois, were rated according to the number of new projects recruited. A project worth counting was one with a value of at least $1,000,000, involved 20+ jobs, or created at least 20,000 square feet of new commercial or industrial space. Using this definition, Illinois came out as #4 among the 50 states in total projects, #3 in the number of projects per capita, and Chicago came out as the #1 metro area with a population greater than 1,000,000 people. And it is worth noting that at least part of this investment would have been made when the companies would have realized that Governor Pritzker, and his graduated income tax structure, stood a very good chance of becoming the next governor. Since JB took office, Google announced it would bring another 1,200 high tech jobs to Chicago.

    Chicago and Illinois are really pretty good places to be, despite four years of ruinous (Raunerous)”leadership.”

  19. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    Wow this will be a real downer to Spanky Baise and the 3%ers. Baiser will be a real grouch now

  20. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    “But the core of activity is in Cook County”

    Excellent and very proud. State government should pass a resolution committing to keep Chicago and Cook County in Illinois—just to give fodder to downstate’s phony victimhood and resentment.

    “Greater Chicago startups lead the nation in venture returns, with an 8.5x multiple on invested capital.”

    Thanks to JB and everyone else involved. Pritzker is a proven job creator who wants to right-size the tax burden and help the vast majority of state residents, so our tax burdens will be lighter and there will be more money to invest in job-creating education.

  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    –I think we’ve won this award since 2013.–

    Yes. Which makes it curious as to why alleged deep-thinkers insist that it’s those with access to private capital and opportunities to advance that are leaving the area when all the evidence points to that it is those with neither.

    A day spent driving around city neighborhoods and suburbs would make clear as to who is leaving, and why.

  22. - Platon - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    Always good to see this. Chicago has been at the top of this list for a while. What is odd is that this hasn’t translated into strong job growth. Chicago metro is doing just ok compared to nation in job and income growth. Of course compared to downstate it may as well be China in terms of growth.

  23. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    == Paying off an alderman to open a lemonade stand must not be considered a bad thing at site selection magazine. ==

    If it takes a 10% corruption tax to get the streets plowed and keep the trains running on time, businesses can handle that as long as it is consistent and the city works. /s

  24. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    ==In addition to hosting the second highest concentration of computer science graduates in the U.S. and ranking sixth in the number of STEM workers who live there, Greater Chicago startups lead the nation in venture returns, with an 8.5x multiple on invested capital.==

    Yesterday someone was questioning why states should fund higher education. This is why.

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 1:32 pm:

    This is certainly a measure of good new, plus it’s worth noting that the Metro East benefits from the St. Louis metro’s strong showing at #10. I still see Site Selection’s rankings as a wake up call though. I think I saw Freeport well down in the micropolitan rankings, but that was it for smaller downstate metros. There’s clearly work to do outside of the northeastern and southwestern parts of the state. Economic weakness downstate is good for no one, not even Chicago.

  26. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Sooo, how’s that resolution coming along Reps. Halbrook, Bailey, and Miller??

  27. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    Paging Bruce Dold. Paging Kristen McQuery. Paging John Kass. Your response is required.

  28. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    But, people are fleeing. How can we be #1? /s

  29. - 21st State - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    good timing on this as United announces it’s staying @WillisTower — kudos to the professionals @EQOffice for their efforts on the transformation of that iconic attraction

  30. - RE Consultant - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    In fact, Chicago has been #1 for 7 of the last 10 years, and the other 3 years it was #2. Moreover, its usually beating the others by significant margins. It’s America’s last great, affordable city. I’m a recent transplant from California who spent the last 10 years in Asia. You have no idea how many people are like me, who kept our eyes on the city for so long, visiting, exploring opportunities, checking redfin/zillow…before making the leap. Prepare for the wave. Sure, some people doing the same end up in the Phoenix, Texas, Atlanta, etc. but for millenials and others who love city life, transit, education, science, culture, and progressive people, those places will never suffice.

  31. - Yeah right - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 4:28 pm:

    I wonder why Amazon, Apple, the US Army, Toyota, Mazda, or many, many others pick Chicagoland for their headquarters or brand new developments.

  32. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 4:37 pm:

    This is great news - with the economic engine of the state firing on all eight cylinders, it’s all the more reason to sock the top 10% of earners with the 6-8% rates in the new progressive tax structure, not just the top 3%. Time to take the load off of us peons who actually “create the jobs”. Hopefully the GA is listening.

  33. - RE Consultant - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 5:20 pm:

    For kicks, I went back to Site Selection magazine’s rankings and tallied the results. Over the past ten years, Chicago had 3209 new projects, its nearest competitor was Houston at 2170, followed by Dallas at 1788. In many years, Chicago is more than double its closest competitor. It is far and away the leading city, and this is true over an extended period of time.

  34. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 5:47 pm:

    40 years ago I thought Chicago was the most livable of America’s big cities. I still do.

    As families have increasingly become dual income units, the Chicago areas great mix of jobs and good regional transport are tremendous assets.

  35. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 13, 19 @ 6:50 pm:

    Oh wait, I thought Rahm was terrible? A scourge on our city.

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