Access to Labor Again Becoming an Important Location Consideration

As the economy slowly regains momentum, we again hear more talk from clients about the importance of a location’s accessibility to a quality labor pool. In Lake County, Illinois this translates into sites within a reasonable commuting distance from the more affordable housing markets in the west and northwest portions of the county. While this need is sometimes offset by the dictates of “scientific plant location,” which leads executives to locate nearer to the largest concentration of executive housing along Chicago’s North Shore, the limited labor pool along the North Shore has proven detrimental to many firms locating east of the Tri-State Tollway.

Increasingly, we are experiencing labor savvy employers selecting locations in the corporate parks along Milwaukee Avenue between Lake-Cook Road and Illinois Route 60 in Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire and Vernon Hills. These locations balance the sometimes competing forces of “scientific plant location” and easy access for middle management and support staff. While less than 20 minutes from the North Shore lakefront, the Milwaukee Avenue corporate parks, including Lincolnshire Corporate Center and the Corporate Woods, offer dramatically shorter commutes for employees commuting from west and northwest Lake County and Eastern McHenry County, which provide quality housing at much more affordable price points. As the demand for employees continues to recover, we expect this consideration will become increasingly critical.