CHICAGO (CBS) Chicago City and Illinois leaders hope the announcement of two new construction projects will spur Chicago workers back into the city center.
CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman said on Friday, a striking steel and glass dome along the south branch of the Chicago River will house the future Discovery Partner Institute.
DPI is a project from the University of Illinois that will bring an academic and research facility to the South Loop waterfront.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Governor JB Pritzker were present at the model presentation on Friday.
“The new DPI headquarters will house offices, classrooms, laboratories and event space along the Chicago River, transforming a long-empty old train station into a world-class powerhouse of talent and innovation with a tailored aesthetic,” said Pritzker.
Leaders hope this development will move Chicago forward as a technology city and encourage engineers, technology, and business talent to stay in the city.
“Many talented engineers have moved to the coast and part of our entire job is to keep them in state,” said Timothy Killeen, president of the University of Illinois.
The DPI project is expected to start in 2024. It will be the first to start construction in 78 Innovation District – 62 hectares of land along the southern branch of the river that will connect the South Loop with Chinatown.
Meanwhile, Accenture – a global consulting firm – officially opened its 264,000 global headquarters in Chicago on Friday at 500 W. Madison St. at West Loop Gate. The building – formerly known as the Northwestern Atrium Center and Citigroup Center – was renamed the Accenture Tower.
Mayor Lightfoot was also present at Friday’s ribbon cut at the Accenture Tower.
“Welcome back to the city you missed,” said the mayor.
The company has acquired seven refurbished floors of a 40-story skyscraper that is connected to the Ogilvie Transportation Center.
Despite record office vacancies in downtown Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot hopes the company’s 6,500 employees will contribute to the recovery of the downtown economy.
“Your neighbors missed you. The little businesses that have been built in this tower and all over the area that really depend on you being here – we missed being together, ”said Mayor Lightfoot. “You can’t build culture and teams by being apart.”
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