Tech adviser finds business better downtown
November 8, 2004
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
As a suburban teen,
Michael Parks got a speeding ticket, and appeared in traffic court
at 325 N. La Salle.
Now the 42-year-old
founder and CEO of the fast-growing tech consultancy Revere Group
is going back to court. But things have changed in the meantime.
Parks is moving
his firm's headquarters and its 140 employees from Deerfield into
the red brick Reid-Murdoch Center, which once housed Chicago's
traffic court where Parks appeared as a teen. He'll be on the
third floor holding court for a growing list of consulting clients
that include CCC Information Services, DeVry Inc., A. J. Gallagher,
Hewitt Associates and Nicor.
The firm will
initially lease 14,000 square feet, and the move is expected to
be complete by mid February.
the reason for the move is to better serve clients and employees.
an on-line survey of our consulting professionals, and over 80
percent preferred being downtown," said Parks.
All of Revere's
140 local employees will relocate to the Chicago office. The company
employs over 300 nationally, and has an office in Bangalore, India.
believed we should be downtown for the clients, but the survey
was a surprise," added Parks. "We just assumed the reason
people came to work for the Revere Group was our location in the
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Roper with instigating
was a strong advocate for getting us downtown," says Parks.
"He opened my eyes to the business benefits of being located
to move three years ago but was unable to sublease his existing
Deerfield office space.
Group obtained no financial incentives from either the city or
the state to accommodate the move. Parks said he received active
support from World Business Chicago in helping identify the new
executive director of World Business Chicago, sees this move as
part of a broader trend. He says employers of knowledge workers
-- consultants, researchers, designers, analysts, and other professionals
-- increasingly prefer an urban location.
talent is downtown. It really is a magnet," said O'Connor,
who pointed to the relocation of the research firm Synovate from
Arlington Heights and Motorola's opening of a downtown innovation
and design center as examples.
types of workers prefer to live in the city," said O'Connor.
"They want to be able to attend their daughter's soccer games."
adding, "One of the main reasons for the move is to recruit
and retain the most talented consulting professionals in the industry."
the latest in a freshet of companies locating their headquarters
downtown. The biggest new HQ will be BP Olefins & Derivatives,
the $13 billion plastic-making unit of BP Amoco, which is moving
125 jobs into the Aon Center.