Former Motorola campus in Libertyville gets a big makeover

Visitors still enter the sprawling Libertyville office campus via Motorola Parkway, east of Route 45, but the memory of the electronics company whose departure a few years ago stunned the community is being erased by a new owner.

The buildings spanning about 1.1 million square feet remain, but a sleek new entry has been added and the interiors reworked to accommodate what the owners hope will be a roster of high-end companies.

About 250 curious visitors filtered through Innovation Park Lake County on Friday for the first public look at what has become a $10 million renovation. It is expected to stretch to $70 million to $100 million as tenants arrive, spaces are built out and other features added.

The first steps were through a soaring, glass-faced new entry building called Innovation Central that provides an unfettered view of the wooded grounds and is illuminated by an interpretive light sculpture of different sized connected rings.

Above and beyond, the interiors have been gutted and reworked for a new type of workspace featuring shared work and play spaces and services. Tenants will have access to a main bistro-style eating area, as well as coffee shops and juice bars sprinkled throughout the facilities.

In an attempt to cater to the needs of workers, the facilities include a fitness center, gym, dry cleaner, chiropractic and massage room and 4,315-square-foot game room among other features. Shuttle buses will connect workers with train stations in Libertyville and Mundelein, and on-site bicycles are other aspects intended to appeal to a new style of office worker.

Promotional materials promise a multi-tenant workplace "unlike any other anywhere."

"It's the shared workspace in Chicago that's the big trend and they're bringing it out to Lake County," said Sue Mulligan, CFO/partner in Agile Advisors, a Libertyville outsourcing firm.

"I grew up in the area so it was a disappointment when Motorola left but they've brought it to the next level," said Glenn Bockwinkel, co-owner of Acura of Libertyville.

The last 2,500 Motorola employees moved to Chicago in April 2014. Maryland-based developer BECO Management Inc. bought the property shortly after. The first announced tenant is Valent BioSciences Corporation, which plans a $27 million global headquarters for research and development.

There currently is about 800,000 square feet of available space to lease, officials said.

"They've really updated the facility and showing today they can offer something new and exciting to the corporate market in the Northwest suburbs," said Heather Rowe, Libertyville's economic development coordinator.

Developer promises unique workplace on ex-Motorola campus in Libertyville

Bioscience firm is first announced tenant for Innovation Park Lake County in Libertyville

  On Friday, visitors were able to get a first public look inside the renovated former Motorola facility in Libertyville. Mick Zawislak/
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