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updated: 8/3/2012 2:32 PM

Walgreen to expand in suburbs, add 500 jobs

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  • GEORGE LECLAIRE/gleclaire@dailyherald.com Walgreens Headquarters property, flag and sign in Deerfield.

      GEORGE LECLAIRE/gleclaire@dailyherald.com Walgreens Headquarters property, flag and sign in Deerfield.

 
 

Walgreen Co. will hire 500 people to work in their Chicago-area corporate offices over the next three years under a tax breaks deal with the state, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Friday.

In addition, the Deerfield-based company will renovate some of their 27 offices spread throughout the area in Deerfield, Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Bannockburn, Mount Prospect, Northlake and Chicago.

The hiring and improvements were sparked by a $47 million package of state tax breaks that company spokesman Jim Graham said were "extremely helpful to us in deciding to make the improvements."

Graham said the jobs will be added over the course of the three-year agreement with the state, and positions could include workers dealing with online commerce, accounting, marketing and pharmacy.

"Walgreens has deep roots in Illinois and is an important part of the region's flourishing health care hub," Quinn said in a statement.

Walgreen's announcement about adding jobs in the suburbs comes exactly one week week after Lake County was dealt a blow by Motorola Mobility's announcement it planned to move from its Libertyville headquarters to Chicago. That company had a tax breaks deal to stay in Illinois, but it was transferred from the suburbs to Chicago.

The tax breaks package given to Walgreen Co. partly includes EDGE credits, a jobs-based incentive that Quinn has also used with Sears Holdings Corp. in Hoffman Estates and Lisle-based Navistar International Corp.

"We are proud of our Illinois heritage," Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson said in a statement. "Just as our stores and pharmacies are health and daily living anchors for the communities we serve, we as a company are now recommitted to serving as an economic anchor for northeastern Illinois. A state and workforce that has served us so well for more than a century will now see our footprint grow even larger."

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