Power Construction gets $2.4 million in state tax credits to move headquarters to Chicago. How much will it take to lure Archer Daniels Midland?

SHARE Power Construction gets $2.4 million in state tax credits to move headquarters to Chicago. How much will it take to lure Archer Daniels Midland?
SHARE Power Construction gets $2.4 million in state tax credits to move headquarters to Chicago. How much will it take to lure Archer Daniels Midland?

If $2.4 million in state tax credits is being made available to a construction company moving from Schaumburg to the Chicago city limits near O’Hare Airport, how much will it take to lure Archer Daniels Midland’s global headquarters to the city?

That was the question Wednesday after Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined officials from Power Construction to announce the company’s return to Chicago after 80 years.

The promise of a so-called EDGE tax credit of $2.4 million over ten years and a $15,000 job training grant convinced Power to relocate its corporate headquarters to Triangle Plaza, 8750 W. Bryn Mawr.

The construction giant helped build Lurie Children’s Hospital and Rush University Medical Center and either has or will break ground on ten other big Chicago projects, including the new Rehabilitation Institute and Loyola University’s new business school.

It plans to lease 35,000 square feet of office space on two floors at a new, multi-million dollar headquarters that will be home to more than 200 employees now working in Schaumburg. Another 30 new jobs will be created.

The move was proudly announced Wednesday during a news conference at a Power Construction job site at 1100 S. Canal, where the company is building a retail center anchored by a Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nordstrom Rack.

Company officials said they had seriously considered a move to Northern Indiana after the Hoosier state offered an incentive package worth “several million dollars.”

Still, Dan Seals, the former congressional candidate now serving as assistant director of the Ill. Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, was asked how he justifies giving a tax break to an Illinois company to move a short distance from suburb to city.

“We didn’t give a company a tax credit to move a few miles. What we did is saw a company that we thought was a good company that was looking to leave the state entirely that was receiving several million dollars to come to another state. We wanted to compete. We thought it was a good company to retain. And that’s what we did. And we won,” Seals said.

“You only get them if you create the jobs. If you don’t create the jobs, you don’t get `em. And they’re based on the tax revenue that comes off the job. So, the state comes out ahead.”

Seals refused to say what the state was prepared to do for Archer Daniels Midland or whether it was prepared to match the $61 million in state and city incentives that lured Boeing’s world headquarters to Chicago.

The global food processing and commodities trading corporation announced plans this week to move its global headquarters, customer center and 100 top executives out of Decatur to a more accessible location with Chicago as the frontrunner.

“ADM is a great company. We want to keep `em in Illinois. No doubt about it. But, in terms of figures, I can’t speak to that,” Seals said.

Emanuel said he would “make sure Chicago has its best foot forward” in the ADM sweepstakes and that starts with having the “best trained, best educated” workforce and an expanding O’Hare.

“They’re a Fortune 100 company with a world-wide platform. They just bought a company in Australia. Chicago’s airport allows them to get to their clients and new businesses in Australia directly and conveniently,” the mayor said.

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