Motorola Mobilitys Libertyville complex up for sale
Google Inc. is trying to unload Motorola Mobility's expansive Libertyville campus and has hired a company to market the property to interested buyers.
Philadelphia-based Binswanger Corp. is in charge of finding a taker for the 84-acre site off Route 45 on Libertyville's far west side. Binswanger announced Thursday it had been named the exclusive agent by Google, the parent company of Motorola Mobility.
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. plans to move its entire Libertyville workforce of roughly 3,000 to the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago early next year. Motorola is taking a $110 million state incentive package with it to the Merchandise Mart. Google acquired Motorola Mobility in August 2011, three months after the state incentive package was announced by company and state officials at a news conference in Libertyville. The pending move to Chicago was announced last July.
The company and its real estate agent have been working with the village, according to Mayor Terry Weppler, although there is some lead time before the move occurs.
"We toured the facility about a month or a month and half ago," Weppler said. "We're talking about the first quarter of 2014 when they would be out."
Constructed in 1992, Motorola Mobility's Libertyville headquarters is a 1.13 million-square-foot building that includes amenities such as a full-service cafeteria, gymnasium, day-care center and other recreational facilities. Its primary focus is a research and development facility spread across four connected, multistory structures.
"We've basically been open-minded about it, whether it's a single tenant or whether it gets divided into multiple spaces because of the size," Weppler said.
Michael Stevens, president and CEO of Lake County Partners, the county's economic development arm, said the facility is in its portfolio as it looks to draw business here.
"We're very focused on working with Libertyville and Motorola Mobility to identify and attract a user to that space," Stevens said. "Obviously, any time you have a facility that large, there's always challenges to backfill that space."
He said the attractiveness of the campus and Lake County workforce are assets.
Weppler said the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity also is involved in the process.
Binswanger is "aggressively marketing" the property to a variety of potential users in industries such as: information, finance and insurance; educational services; and public administration, according to its release.
Weppler said some local businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, could be affected by the mobile telephone maker's departure from Libertyville but the intent is to offset the loss of employees.
"The goal is to get that back in some form," he said.
The village realistically doesn't have any cash incentives to offer a new owner, however.
"What we have to offer is what we offered Volkswagen Credit — we will get anybody who moves in through the process" quickly, Weppler said.
Binswanger said the Motorola Mobility facility was renovated from 1998 to 2005. It's not immediately known how much Google wants for the property.
Daily Herald staff writer Mick Zawislak contributed to this report
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