EDC & Village to DeVry: Let’s Talk

Come on in...

Come on in...

This is a pleasant piece of news reflecting continued work by the EDC and village staff.  DeVry Technical Institute, first established in 1931, is in discussions about moving their corporate headquarters and university facility to the north side of DG, and it has progressed to a point where Mike Baker is bringing to council an Economic Development Agreement with DeVry for consideration, and approval to move forward.

Pulling in a new corporate resident like DeVry would kick in appreciable new revenues for the village, as indicated in the talking points in the workshop green sheets.  Not a stretch to think several communities would have some sort of bid in; DeVry uses a lot of electricity and communications bandwidth, both items that generate tax revenues.

Even after the combination of rebates and credits, well over $700,000 to village coffers in fees and taxes, mainly for telecommunications and electrical use?  That’d be pretty sweet.  The agreement with the village (starts on page 4) is reasonable and conservative, with rebates trailing down and out as the 15 year agreement runs.  The agreement has similar fingerprints to other good development agreements written in the past by Village Manager Dave Fieldman.  A hat tip to EDC and Greg Bedelov for working the margins finding opportunities for growing revenues in the DG commercial component.

This Tuesday council will talk about the agreement and whether or not to green light moving ahead. There’s a lot of pluses about the deal:

DeVry University agrees to:

  • Operate its corporate headquarters and university facility in Downers Grove in approximately 150,000 square feet of Highland Landmark Building V for a period of 15 years
  • Reimburse the Village for a set percentage of rebate payments in the event that DeVry fails to maintain its corporate headquarters in the Village for a period of 15 years

Village of Downers Grove agrees to:

  • Rebate 50% of electric, telecommunications and sales taxes for a 15-year period
  • Waive seventy-five (75%) percent of permit and plan review fees associated with the initial buildout of the project.

landmark-v-alandmark-vFor DeVry, ample high tech office space conveniently located with good high volume roads already in place, and even nearby rail at Main, with a nice depot capable of easy shuttle connections to the N side office space.  For the village, jobs and revenues, and the opportunity to build future growth from the same company, much as Sara Lee built kitchens here after bringing out the corporate offices first.

Hopefully council approves.  Really, how could they not: what is not to like about this?  If DeVry inks the deal and they love it here like we do and never want to leave, maybe they bring even more of their training and learning institutes here to DG as time goes on.

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2 Responses to “EDC & Village to DeVry: Let’s Talk”

  1. DGDAD Says:

    Just an FYI,
    the Building is currently vacant. Buildings which are vacant get assessed at 1/2 that of a full building. The Village is doing our School Districts a HUGE service by giving up ITs fees, to get a BIG contributor to the Schools. This is the type of relationship that exists between governing bodies. While this particular property is not in a TIF District, we often hear complaints that TIF districts negatively impact School Districts while benefiting municipal governments. While I disagree with that assertion, the proposed DeVry agreement is the type of immediate action municipal governments take to help themselves but also help the school and park districts to a greater degree than the municipal government itself. And in a very IMMEDIATE fashion. TIF districts benefit school districts over a longer period of time, schools have to think long term to really get the “pop” that the TIF agreement gives. Just food for thought.

    People have to really give pause to this monumental achievement in one of the worst economies in the past 30 years. Lets cross our fingers that DeVry makes the right decision to locate to one of the best locations in the Midwest…Downers Grove.

  2. markthoman Says:

    Thanks for the info on vacant commercial assessments.

    I don’t necessarily look at it as the village giving up fees; we get nothing right now, and reduced rates for a large good long term corporate resident is a good component of large scale commercial development. Neither of our school districts loses anything.

    Note large, not every development should get that kind of treatment.

    And 100% agree with your final comment, that’s why I feel it should be wider knowledge. Even getting to this point shows EDC, COC, Staff, etc. (DTM and more) paying attention and working as a coherent team to do good things for DG.


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