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Chicago Growing, February 2011

From manufacturing to financial services, Chicago continues to see companies locating and expanding within its borders. Below is a sample of some of the growth the city has seen over the past few months.

Accretive Solutions, a national consulting and executive search firm, relocated its headquarters from NY, with plans to triple or quadruple current staff of eight.

Allied Benefit Systems Inc., a health claims administrator, leased about 22,000 square feet at 200 W. Adams St.

Bel Brands USA, a French cheese-maker, whose brands include Laughing Cow, Boursin and Kaukauna, is moving its U.S. headquarters to the 30 S. Wacker from Elk Grove Village, doubling its space.

Bluehorse Associates, a French sustainable metrics company announced the opening of a new office in Chicago in response to the growing demand for product-level lifecycle assessment tools in the food and drink industry.

CDM Media USA Inc., a marketing firm for tech companies based in Honolulu, plans to open a new Chicago office at 155 N. Wacker.

Centro Media Inc., a digital advertising company has landed $22.5 million from a New York-based investment fund, and will use the money to double its staff of 180, more than 100 of whom will be in Chicago.

Chica Marketplace LLC, a real estate investment, management and construction company, has completed its $4.3 million purchase of the former Campbell Soup Co. plant at 26 W. 35th St., to be redeveloped into a multitenant facility offering modern warehouse, office and commercial loft space.

Crawford & Company, an international insurance services firm, signed a new lease at 311 S. Wacker Dr.

CTPartners, a New York-based executive search firm opened its new office at 150 S. Wacker Drive.

Digitas Inc., a fast-growing digital marketing firm based in Boston, doubled the size of its local office in a move to 190 N. LaSalle St., increasing its space by 21,000 square feet.

Dyson , the British home appliance maker added 100 people to the Chicago office in 2010 and aims to hire 40 more in sales, marketing and customer care to lift its local headcount to 400.

Englander Bedding, a manufacturer of mattresses, purchased the 158,930-square-foot former SK Hand Tool Corporation facility at 3535 W. 47th St. to meet the company’s need for additional space.

Evraz Group, one of the world’s largest steel companies, announced plans to relocate its North American headquarters from Portland to Chicago’s AON Center.

Global Materials Technologies leased 30,000 square feet at 3333 W. 36th St. and plans on utilizing this building for warehousing of its raw materials.

Green Metal Distribution, a scrap metal exporter, leased the 3,000 square feet at 4313 S. Halsted St.

Groupon Inc. is expanding its headquarters at 600 W. Chicago Ave. by about 57,000 square feet, taking three new spaces: the first level of the complex’s northern portion beneath the condominiums at 900 N. Kingsbury St., the third and seventh floors of 600 W. Chicago and an additional 13,000 square feet in the former Ward’s complex at the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Headlands Technologies LLC, a trading firm founded last year by two former Citadel executives, signed a lease for 5,000 square feet.

Headwaters MB, an investment bank based in Denver, has created a financial institutions practice to be headquartered in Chicago and focused on mergers, acquisitions and capital raising for banks with assets of up to $3 billion.

Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society, a non-profit organization focused on the betterment of healthcare, signed a 10-year lease at 33 W. Monroe St., where it is increasing its space by about 10%.

International Assets Holding Corp., an execution and advisory services firm, signed a long-term deal for nearly 30,000 square feet at the Federal Reserve Bank building in downtown Chicago.

J.P. Graphics leased 5,000 square feet at 4701 S. Whipple St. to be used for commercial printing.

JW Marriott opened a new hotel at 208 S. La Salle St., a landmark building designed by historic Chicago architect, Daniel Burnham. This is Chicago’s largest new hotel to open since 1998.

KCSA Strategic Communications, an integrated communications firm specializing in public relations, investor relations and marketing services, expanded its U.S. presence with the opening of a Chicago office.

LKQ Corp., a publicly traded company, which sells new and recycled parts to auto repair shops, increased its headquarters space approximately 37% in a move to Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison St., where it leased 18,766 square feet.

MSCI, Inc. a global provider of investment decision support tools, nearly doubled in size to  7,000 square feet in an expansion at 311 S. Wacker Dr.

Michael McGrath, a car dealer, is moving forward with a $17-million project on the Near North Side that would expand the existing Elston Avenue Lexus dealership and open a new Acura showroom across the street.

Milk & Honey Granola has expanded into 13,000 square feet of space at 627 N. Albany, nearly tripling the size of its manufacturing operations.

N & H Group, a metal recycler, signed a 17,000-square-foot lease at 3333 W. 36th St.

Nonprofit HR Solutions, a human resources consulting company based in Washington DC, opened an office on Michigan Ave.

Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C., a labor law firm, is expanding its local space 155 N. Wacker Dr, after moving  to the building last October.

Powers by Design, a St. Louis-based graphic design and web design company opened a Chicago office at the Willis Tower to accommodate a growing Chicago client base.

RHR International, a leading management consulting firm, relocated its corporate office from the western suburbs to the Willis Tower.

Red Sea Group, an Israeli real estate firm, has acquired a former check-processing plant at 350 E. Cermak Road with plans to spend about $200 million to convert the eight-story building into one of the city’s biggest data centers.

Schafer-Condon-Carter, a marketing agency, is doubling its occupancy downtown by purchasing a 34,500-square-foot distressed, historic office building at 1027 W. Madison St in the West Loop.

Server Farm Realty, Inc. (SFRI) has completed the purchase of 840 S. Canal St. in Chicago; the eight-story, 443,446 square foot building will be one of the largest data center developments in the Midwest.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, a New York-based law firm, expanded to 219,258 square feet at 155 N. Wacker Dr.

Tressler LLP, a law firm, is expanding its headquarters at Willis Tower by 10%, bringing its office to 83,000 square feet.

Walker Wilcox Matousek LLP, a law firm, leased just under 35,000 square feet at 1 N. Franklin St.

Whole Foods Market Inc., the nation’s biggest grocer specializing in natural and organic foods, is moving its Midwest headquarters from the Lakeview neighborhood to 640 N. LaSalle St. in River North, where the company is expanding its office by 50% to 36,000 square feet.

Image Credit: “Chicago Skyline” CC By swisscan on Flickr

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