It took longer than expected, but Lisle trustees have approved a parking lot expansion that allows Amita Health to open a new headquarters on the Navistar office campus along Warrenville Road.
The board this week gave Navistar permission to add 176 parking spaces to accommodate Amita Health's plan to move its headquarters from Arlington Heights to the truck manufacturer's 84-acre campus. The health system is planning to lease 225,000 square feet of office space in three buildings.
Monday's unanimous decision came two weeks after the six-person village board failed to approve the change because some trustees wanted to see a revised plat of the property. Navistar provided the information ahead of the final vote.
Business leaders supported Amita's move.
"The relocation of Amita's new headquarters to DuPage is a regionally significant event for our community," said Lisa Miceli, the economic development director for Choose DuPage. "Opportunities to attract new corporate headquarters are not common."
A Navistar representative said Amita plans to bring 1,100 employees to Lisle.
Jill Eidukas, executive director of the Lisle Area Chamber of Commerce, said the request to add parking spots is a sign Amita and Navistar expect to grow. She urged trustees to approve the request.
"Job number one for local officials is jobs," Eidukas said. "Let us focus on the big picture, which is our economy and allowing Navistar's campus to operate to its full potential."
Navistar's workforce on the Lisle campus has dropped from 3,200 to 1,800, company officials said. Since 2015, the company has been marketing its vacant office space, with National Express recently moving into one of the buildings.
Jason Quaranto of Navistar said the company's plan for the campus "is something that benefits everyone."
"Empty office space is not in the village's economic interest," Quaranto said.
It's also not in the economic interest of the region, according to Colin Dalough, director of government affairs and business development for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.
"Economic development does not happen in a vacuum," he said. "Our tides rise and fall together."
He said members of the business community attended Monday's meeting because the Lisle board's decision will have a ripple effect.
"This is an opportunity to grow Lisle's economy and deliver significant economic benefit to the region," Dalough said.
Even Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico voiced support for the parking change, adding that having Amita's headquarters in Lisle will be good for the entire region.
Navistar is planning to begin work on modifying the parking lot before the end of the year.
Employees from Amita's Bolingbrook office are expected to move to the campus on March 1. Workers from six other office locations are slated to move July 1.