Illinois developers revealed plans on Tuesday for a technology park in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, IL, located near O'Hare International Airport, that could total $1 billion of investment, according to the Daily Herald.
Brennan Investment Group said the project, which would be set on 85 acres of what is now undeveloped farm land, would target tenants in the areas of robotic, digital and automated manufacturing technology and data storage. Plans for the first phase include $150 million for four spec buildings totaling 500,000 square feet as well as two commercial sites for hotel, retail or restaurant projects.
Publicly accessible features like pedestrian paths, art installations, ponds and water fountains are also proposed.
Office construction is on the rise with the category to see the most growth of any commercial construction segment this year, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Job growth in professional business services is one reason, and cities in particular are attracting more younger workers. The Elk Grove Village tech park is within reach of Chicago, where a number of major companies currently are moving or expanding operations.
Meanwhile, manufacturing is making its way back to American shores as wages rise in countries that once offered production at rock-bottom prices. China used to be one of the most inexpensive options for U.S. manufacturers, but, according to the Reshoring Initiative, 60% of the investment behind the repatriation of manufacturing jobs to the U.S. between 2010 and 2016 came from China. The possibility of Trump administration–imposed tariffs is also pushing foreign companies who sell products in the U.S. to explore the relocation of their manufacturing operations stateside.
Data centers are also big business, with companies like Facebook and Switch in seemingly endless expansions of their processing and storage capacities. Switch opened the first building of its $5 billion data center near Grand rapids, MI, earlier this year. The developer of SuperNAP data centers earned a sweet tax-break deal from the state of Michigan in return for guaranteeing that it will employ 1,000 people at the facility at a minimum of $15 per hour, plus benefits. Switch estimated that most jobs will pay between $60,000 and $200,000.
Facebook is also adding data center stock, this time with a facility equal to the combined size of 17 football fields located near Albuquerque, NM. Facebook will pay no property taxes for 30 years in return for annual payments of $50,000 to almost $500,000 to the city of Los Lunas, NM, where the data center is actually located. The state estimates that construction will bring them $75 million in gross-receipts tax revenue in the next decade.