April 22, 2024

Chicago Area and Texas Extend Record Streaks for Corporate Facility Investments

Chicago extended its record run for attracting corporate facility investments in 2023 in the statewide competition in an annual analysis by a relocation industry publication.

Despite some high-profile headquarters defections in recent years, the Chicago area once again led all metropolitan areas with 485 eligible real estate projects, according to Site Selection magazine, topping the broader Dallas area, which had 452 projects, and Houston area with 413 projects.

It is the 11th consecutive year that Chicago led the nation, according to information compiled by the publication owned by Georgia-based Conway Data. The results were announced Friday.

Texas won the Governor’s Cup for most eligible projects per state, with 1,254. That is far above No. 2 Illinois’ 552 projects.

It was Texas’ 12th straight year at the top of the state rankings.

Qualifying projects must be private-sector investments of at least $1 million, create 20 or more jobs, or add 20,000 square feet of real estate or more.

Site Selection’s rankings are a feather in the cap of cities, states and regions competing for jobs. The publication says it has a circulation of 41,000 executives involved in corporate relocation and expansion decisions.

Chicago has struggled in recent years to overcome concerns about taxes and crime, and high-profile headquarters defections from the area include Boeing, Caterpillar and Citadel.

But the area has thrived in some sectors, such as logistics and manufacturing. The city’s Fulton Market district has remained among the fastest-growing urban areas in the country.

New arrivals in the former meatpacking area west of the Loop business district include 2023 eligible projects such as a biotech research hub backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, and Irish beer maker Guinness’ second U.S. brewery.

Other new arrivals to the area include a Bally’s casino and logistics firm Spot’s first Chicago office.

The world’s largest pinball maker, Stern Pinball, is among the companies making major expansions. Others include manufacturing incubator mHub and renewable energy company Invenergy.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson celebrated the honor with a visit to S&C Electric’s facility in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the city’s North Side. That company announced plans to add 200 jobs in a new facility in suburban Palatine, Illinois. The company has more than 2,000 employees in the area, according to a statement from World Business Chicago.

“Access to diverse talent, global connectivity and the City’s strong infrastructure are among the reasons why Chicago has been ranked a top metropolitan area for selection and corporate relocation for 11 years,” Johnson said in the statement.

Among areas with populations over 1 million, Houston had the most projects per capita. Among states, South Dakota had the highest per capita projects.

The Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area of Pennsylvania had 50 eligible projects to lead all metro areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million.

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