March 25, 2001 Daily Herald
Elgin to sell itself as ideal for Boeing's relocation
By Max Seigle Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted on March 25, 2001

The City of Elgin and the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce are working on a pitch to bring one of the world's aviation giants to town.

Both the city and the chamber reacted immediately to Boeing Corp.'s announcement last week that the company will leave its headquarters in Seattle and move to Denver, Chicago or Dallas.

The city said Elgin would be a good fit for Boeing given its proximity to both O'Hare International and the Greater Rockford airports, its attractive housing for company employees, its diverse community and readily available facilities.

One piece of vacant property the city has earmarked for Boeing is the former Randall Road home of Safety-Kleen Corp.

"It would be one of the first places we would have them look," said Mayor Ed Schock. "It's a facility that's up and running and it's in a beautiful setting."

Boeing plans to transfer about 500 employees - which the Safety-Kleen facility could easily accommodate - to its new headquarters.

Schock also sees Elgin providing the airplane giant substantial room for expansion with available vacant properties as well as "buildable" open land near Randall Road and the Northwest Tollway.

"I think that is one of our real assets," he said.

Schock has appointed the city's management staff to work with the chamber in putting together information for Boeing about the city and the potential venues for its headquarters.

According to Leo Nelson, president of the chamber, the city needs to identify the company's site selector to make the first connection. Nelson says the selector is unknown at this time.

As more corporate giants like Motorola and United Airlines - one of Boeing's biggest customers - are bringing corporate America to suburbia, both Schock and Nelson feel Boeing's move to Elgin would not be out of the norm.

"The suburbs are filled with corporate headquarters of major corporations and Elgin has been no exception," Schock said.

Boeing has announced it hopes to have site selection made by early summer and have an operational center in its new headquarters by the fall.

[Chicago ATC News]