LIVE BLOG: JLL City vs. Suburbs event

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Jones Lang LaSalle’s Fred Schuler is moderating a panel discussion featuring JLL tenant representative Dan McCarthy, JLL economic incentives expert Meredith O’Connor, Catamaran’s Kristen DeLay, Capital One’s Jon Streich and Don Ricker of the architecture and design firm TVS Design.

Here’s a minute-by-minute run-down of the discussion:

8:18 a.m. — McCarthy: “A good sign for the market is that we’re hearing a lot of our clients say they have more people and they’re asking how they can put more people into the same amount of space.”

8:19 a.m. — McCarthy on the premium companies will pay to lease downtown instead of the suburbs: “You’re looking a a premium of $10-per-square-foot premium … at least.”

8:20 a.m. — McCarthy on the relative strength of the north market: “Historically, the north market has been dominated by large users and headquarters will continue to drive the north market and that’s going to drive the future viability of this part of the region.”

8:21 a.m. — Ricker on workplace design: “The decisions on the way the workplace is designed are being driven from the bottom up rather than the top down. Companies are asking their employees not telling them.”

8:23 a.m. — Ricker on workplace design: “It’s not just about densification or optimizing, it’s about how can the space be flexible two or three of five years down the road.”

8:26 a.m. — Streich: “At HSBC, our suburban headquarters was such a success that our downtown location failed. It sat empty. People came out to the suburbs because they knew their colleagues were there and they wanted to be collaborating with them.”

8:40 a.m. — O’Connor on economic incentives: “Every single company is now considering them; its become a fiduciary responsibility for a company to understand them. All 50 states are now participating. Five years ago, there were at least 15 states that did nothing.”

8:42 a.m. — O’Connor on the differences between the Daley and Emmanuel administrations: “Mayor Daley had a very hands-off approach and he enlisted corporate champions and got them involved to tell their stores to companies like Boeing, for example. Mayor Emanuel is very different, very hands on. He’s picking up the phone and talking to companies proactively. There’s some star power there and he’s leveraging it.”

8:45 a.m. — O’Connor on state of Illinois incentives: “The primary tools are EDGE credits, tax-increment financing (TIFs) and training dollars.”

8:47 a.m. — McCarthy on why the city has been successful in attracting companies: “the building owners downtown have done a tremendous job updating their buildings, investing capital and even going as far as to set up spec suites. The suburbs haven’t done that very effectively yet.”

8:50 a.m. — Streich on hiring top talent: “If you want to attract the knowledge worker, you’ve got to give them options and flexibility.”

9:01 a.m. — Streich: “Workplace standards are all about choice and that’s a good thing.”

9:07 a.m. — Streich on the importance of public transportation: “Every place we’ve gone — downtown or suburbs — transportation plays a huge role. A huge percentage of our workforce relies on it.”

9:14 a.m. — O’Connor on what it takes for a company to get into the incentives game: “There’s always a “but for” … If not but for these incentives, we would go somewhere else. For that reason, Illinois actually denies a lot more incentives than they approve. It’s more of an art than a science to get an an incentive approved.”

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