Sites Highlight Strength and Diversity of Chicago Region; Provide Ideal Location Options for Amazon’s Future Growth and Investment
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner today released the sites included in the Chicago area’s bid for Amazon’s HQ2. The bid was submitted earlier this week, concluding a month-long process that brought together an unprecedented group of stakeholders to develop and support a bid that makes clear Chicago is the ideal place for Amazon to invest billions of dollars and create an estimated 50,000 jobs.
“The sites identified in Chicago’s bid for HQ2 demonstrate the region’s unparalleled potential to support Amazon’s future growth,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The combination of these prime locations with the country’s most educated population, diversified economy and connected transportation system make it clear that Chicago is the ideal city for Amazon’s second headquarters as the company continues to expand.”
“Our state possesses unmatched business, education, technology, logistics, distribution, and academic research assets,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “These are the core attributes of a community in which Amazon can thrive. More important, they represent a foundation for talent rich, innovative growth for generations to come.”
The bid demonstrates Chicago’s depth of site opportunities that each give Amazon the tools and ability to build a future where it can continue to thrive and reach new heights for generations to come.
Each site aligns closely with Amazon’s criteria and offers the common strengths of Chicago’s diverse and talented workforce, unparalleled transportation systems and ability to quickly reach any destination in the world. Yet each site also offers a unique set of features that will allow Amazon to tailor a space to meet its needs today, and the needs of the company it will become.
The proposed sites would allow Amazon to be at the very center of a vibrant downtown core, or in an innovative urban district in one of Chicago’s neighborhoods, or in a campus-like environment in our suburbs.
Chicago’s city core, anchored by the “Loop” hub of the CTA’s elevated train system, is the city’s central business district and serves as the center of the region’s transportation and communications systems while supporting continued growth all around it.
The Downtown Gateway District is a collection of existing move-in ready buildings, major renovation and new development opportunities at a major gateway to Chicago’s business district. This district includes significant space in the Willis Tower, the landmark art deco Old Post Office and new innovative over-site development at Union Station. 18 million sq. ft. of office is available over five existing buildings and seven development sites. A major development site at Union Station, and three new A+ office towers, are the centerpiece.
City Center Campus offers Amazon a unique opportunity to become an integral part of Chicago’s Loop. Located in the center of the City, the future campus core is fully integrated into existing infrastructure and a multimodal transportation network with direct access to all downtown CTA rail and bus lines (including Blue Line access to O’Hare International Airport and Orange Line access to Midway International Airport on-site), designated bikes lanes, pedestrian paths, and a pedway (an underground walkway system). Commuter rail lines with connections to the surrounding suburban destinations (Union, Ogilvie and Millennium Stations) are less than one-half mile away.
Innovative Urban Districts
Chicago is seeing major growth north, west and south of the Central Business District (CBD), including former industrial districts that have become new and diverse communities. These large-scale sites in the immediate vicinity of the CBD would allow Amazon to define an entire new district. Most have a public waterfront presence along either the Chicago River or Lake Michigan and active owners with investment strategies and design options that can be tailored to meet Amazon’s needs.
Lincoln Yards is comprised of over 70 riverfront acres between Bucktown and Lincoln Park, two of Chicago’s most iconic neighborhoods. It is a site of scale that offers robust, existing and multimodal transit connectivity, fiber rich infrastructure, a reasonable cost of living, vibrant neighborhood adjacency and immediate development opportunities with future expansion options.
The River District is a new neighborhood in Chicago’s city center, anchored by 37 acres of continuous riverfront land. Located at the confluence of Chicago’s most dynamic office, residential and entertainment districts, The River District is proximate to five separate CTA train stations, the Union Station/Ogilvie downtown commuter train hubs, the interstate highway system, and a dense network of major bus and bike routes. Given its unique locational attributes, the site represents an opportunity to create a new neighborhood that is pedestrian, bike, and transit friendly, while also convenient to regional commuters and international travelers.
Fulton Market sits in a 21st Century extension of Chicago’s Central Business District. Once a meat-packing district, it is now a rich mix of office, workspace, restaurants, night-life, hotels and housing intermingled with industry, makers and artists. The District keeps its working grit while being a major draw for start-ups, and multiple recent corporate headquarters relocations. It is now home to Dyson, Glassdoor, Google, Uber, McDonald’s and WeWork – attracting the brightest minds in business and technology to a rapidly maturing business district.
The Illinois Medical District is well-served by transit, just west of downtown, and hosts three colleges, four medical centers and numerous public/private technology enterprises. The district is walking distance to authentic Chicago neighborhood experiences like Little Italy and Greektown, and minutes away from the city’s business and cultural center.
The 78 is the largest undeveloped parcel of land in downtown Chicago, this 62-acre site represents one of the most ambitious and transformative development projects in Chicago’s history with unparalleled access to Chicago’s riverfront entertainment and recreation. It is also the site where the University of Illinois System envisions its Discovery Partners Institute, a collaboration of research universities, businesses and public-sector partners to spur growth in the Illinois economy,
Burnham Lakefront, extending from McCormick place to 31st Street Beach and Marina, covers over half a mile of Lake Michigan frontage. Over 12 million sq. ft. of mixed-use development anchors the community with multiple development opportunities. Multiple rail stations provide convenient transit and direct freeway access from three major highways make for short travel time to the rest of the city and international airports. Existing infrastructure allows for direct and secure fiber connectivity, with unparalleled data capacity utilizing renewable energy and a district micro-grid.
Suburban Corporate Campuses
The Chicago region also offers corporate campuses with well-established highway networks and rapid access to O’Hare International Airport. These sites offer long-established reputations as international business hubs, and contain buildings ready to occupy immediately and to build out in the future.
Schaumburg site served as the Global Headquarters for Motorola for over 50 years. Motorola Solutions’ 1,600 employees and Zurich American Insurance’s 3,000 employees offer a strong foundation for the site just 17 minutes west of O’Hare. The 265 acres would be transformed into an urban, walkable neighborhood with Amazon as the anchor. Development will include high-rise housing, restaurants, entertainment, a hotel, and connected open space with trails.
Oak Brook site served as McDonald’s headquarters for more than 40 years. The site is reached by its own private entrance and includes four existing buildings: an international headquarters building, a Prairie-style headquarters office building, a training center with its own laboratory and kitchen area and a Hyatt managed hotel. Two picturesque lakes complete the serene natural environment on campus.
An overview of the sites is attached and select images from the sites can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByPiGMeKT0BAYmoxRjkwX2M3LVE
To ensure the competitiveness of Chicago’s bid, no additional details will be made available at this time.