Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by eolesen
Last week, I drove by the old Allstate HDQ campus for the first time in ages, and it was gone. Last summer, the old United Airlines campus in Mt. Prospect was leveled. The Motorola campus in Schaumburg has been gone for almost ten years. Another tower in Rolling Meadows between Golf Road and the Northwest Tollway was brought down over the winter.


https://brand-studio.fortune.com/allsta ... AAAAAovEQA

https://www.costar.com/article/99604869 ... l-tensions

It's one thing to demolish a 1960's-1970's suburban campus which has land that can be sold for redevelopment. The Allstate and United properties are becoming logistics and data center buildings with few workers.

Will this wave extend to downtown Chicago? Seems like there's no shortage of 1960's office towers....
  by eolesen
Not necessarily an office, but one of the last freight customers for the UP in downtown.

https://wgntv.com/news/chicago-news/blo ... -facility/

For those less familiar with the area, Blommer sits right at the Clinton Ave curve that becomes the throat to Olgilvie. They receive hoppers and tankers at street level from North Avenue Yard via the branch that goes thru the ex-Tribune plant and used to go to Navy Pier.

This could spell the end of that branch entirely, especially with the casino being built at the former Tribune site. Possibly even the Wells Street bridge?
Last edited by eolesen on Sat Mar 23, 2024 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by NotYou
Interesting their other sites to focus on are PA, Ontario, and CA. They aren't moving production to non-union places.

Sent from my CPH2515 using Tapatalk

  by Tadman
The Blommer thing has been curious. Perhaps it's just too expensive to produce in the heart of downtown. Also perhaps the city found an angle to tell them to get lost, the smell is a bit funky for a high rent district. Or perhaps a developer offered them a terrific price to replace with condos.

As for those suburban office campuses, they've been dwindling for ten years. Remember when Walgreens moved back downtown, as did United? I'm not an expert here but their suburban buildings were probably getting old and cantankerous. Oddly enough after Covid and the crime wave downtown, I'd be surprised if new offices didn't go up in the suburbs again. The 30 year trend of moving downtown is turned around and moving back out.
  by eolesen
Funny you mention United.

Last summer their Mt. Prospect campus (sold in 2022) was demolished to make room for new data center buildings. Turns out the site is well suited for lots of internet and power redundancy because of the data center United used to how there (a new one was built on a carved out portion on the west side of the property).

In 2022 United moved to a 40 acre campus in far north Arlington Heights, with two existing buildings and around 400,000sf of office space. 900 people were pulled out of downtown, and there will be room for another 1300 once the building renovations are complete. The 200 who had been in Mt. Prospect stayed in the suburbs.

That leaves about 2,000 hybrid employees left at Willis, half of what was there ten years ago.

It's also not walkable from the UP-NW.
  by Tadman
There's going to be a lot more vacancies the way current and prior leadership manages the city. I didn't agree with everythign the Dalys did but the city was growing rapidly and many big-name employers came to town. That's not happening now.
  by eolesen
Wait until the Daley era tax breaks to get those corporate headquarters start expiring. He left office in 2011, and those are typically 15-20 year deals.