It's official, Sara Lee is hauling its corporate clout back to the city. Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference earlier today to disclose some details on the relocation, and Crain's provides further illumination. It's been five years since Sara Lee left town for suburban Downers Grove, but they are now ready and willing to return, happy recipients of up to $6.5M in TIF money (pending council approval). Their target? 400 S Jefferson Street in the West Loop. The building in question, shown above, has 270,000 sf of total office space, which Sara Lee will renovate and mostly occupy.
You may know that Sara Lee recently divided its company in two: The domestic meats business to be anchored here, and the international tea and coffee business to set up somewhere in Europe. The move promises a minimum 500 jobs, with up to 650 possible. This accounts for the range in TIF pledges. Emanuel campaigned against the use of TIF money for corporate welfare, but he cites this as a worthy exception. The proposal has the potential, he says, to persuade corporate followers to invest in an underdeveloped commercial zone in close proximity to The Loop, transit, and highways. Oh, but he wants us to know the money won't reach Sara Lee until 2014, conditional on their completion of the rehab and occupancy. Trust only goes so far. We're in no position to speculate on any of this, but the building rehab sure is nice.
·Sara Lee gets up to $6.5M to move HQ to West Loop [Crain's]
·Sara Lee to move North American HQ downtown [City of Chicago]