CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today saluted the developers and workers on the 111 W. Wacker project in downtown Chicago. The $180 million project by Related Midwest has employed more than 1,000 skilled construction workers and is transforming a long-vacant and partially-completed building into a new residential tower. Today’s event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“This development is further proof that Illinois is making a comeback,” Governor Quinn said. “After stalling during the worst recession since the Great Depression, today this monumental project is back on track and has employed more than 1,000 skilled workers. This is what happens when the state’s business climate encourages private investment and creates good jobs for Illinois’ hardworking men and women.”
“The transformation of this site into one of Chicago’s finest, new apartment buildings has been a long but very rewarding journey,” Related Midwest President Curt Bailey said. “I could not be more proud of the dedicated and extremely talented workers who have helped us create a best-in-class building for a world-class city. We are very excited to unveil 111 West Wacker to Chicago and help establish the Loop as one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods in the city.”
Recently, Site Selection Magazine, one of the nation’s premier corporate real estate and economic development publications, ranked Illinois third in the country for corporate expansions and locations, while listing greater Chicago as the top metropolitan area in the nation.
As Illinois’ economy continues to recover, nearly 9,000 more businesses are registered in Illinois today than in 2011. Venture capital funding for technology startups shot up 169 percent in 2013 to $1.06 billion. Illinois has become a recent leader in biotechnology jobs and economic impact, with the overall economic output of Illinois' biotechnology industry at more than $98.6 billion, 81,000 direct jobs and more than 3,500 biotechnology companies in the state.
This project has employed more than 1,000 skilled building trades people for a total of 510,000 hours to date, including electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, drywallers, flooring installers, fire protection system installers, tilers, ironworkers, glazers, exterior curtain wall workers, masons and laborers. Twenty-five permanent employees, 17 of whom are union, will be permanently employed once the building is complete, and another 100 service providers will service the building.
Related Midwest’s 950,000-square-foot development at 111 W. Wacker includes 504 rental units and is designed to achieve a minimum LEED Silver designation, a testament to its energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design. The project should be complete this summer. The building is the site of the former Waterview Tower, where construction had stalled since 2008 after reaching just the 28th floor. Related acquired the property in July 2011.
Governor Quinn is committed to making Illinois a better state in which to work. He is fighting to raise Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 and to make sure all Illinois workers are treated fairly. In August, he signed three laws that fight questionable practices in order to protect Illinois workers’ paychecks. House Bill 2649, House Bill 923 and House Bill 3125 deal with the misclassification of workers and the attempts of employers to avoid paying state employment taxes and premiums. Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.