DHL to open 'Innovation Center' in Rosemont

  • A sketch shows the proposed two-story, 18,000-square-foot DHL Innovation Center to be constructed within The Pearl District in Rosemont.

    A sketch shows the proposed two-story, 18,000-square-foot DHL Innovation Center to be constructed within The Pearl District in Rosemont. Courtesy of Village of Rosemont

Updated 5/10/2017 4:41 PM

Rosemont rounded out plans for its $80 million, 16-acre The Pearl District development on Wednesday with the announcement that global logistics firm DHL plans to open its first North American "Innovation Center" there.

The two-story, 18,000-square-foot office building will include exhibit space that showcases company products and projects in development. A mezzanine level will house offices and meeting rooms, with space for an estimated 70 to 100 DHL customers and business partners expected to visit every day. The building could host larger events for up to 200, officials said.


It's one part of Rosemont's mixed use development now under construction south of Balmoral Avenue and west of the Tri-State Tollway.

DHL opened its first Innovation Center in 2007 at the company's headquarters in Bonn, Germany, followed by a second one in Singapore in 2015 to serve its Asia Pacific market.

The third location in Rosemont is intended to serve DHL clients in North America, giving customers and business partners the opportunity "to meet, connect and exchange ideas" with DHL teams and trend experts, company officials said.

Twenty-five DHL employees will work there.

Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens said DHL conducted an extensive search for a U.S. location, considering sites in Boston and Dallas, but centered on the Chicago market and the Rosemont site specifically because of its proximity to O'Hare International Airport.

"We're happy to have this to fill out that development," Stephens said Wednesday, before the village board approved a development agreement for the new DHL building.

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DHL is leasing the site from a partnership led by Braden Real Estate and Janko Group. Braden is also handling leases for two restaurants within The Pearl, announced in March as Carmine's and Truluck's Seafood Steak & Crab House. Janko is also developing a five-story, 165-room boutique hotel -- The Rose -- that will operate under the Hilton Tapestry Collection brand.

The Pearl will be anchored by a 40,000-square-foot Dave & Buster's, which is leasing the space from the village. A five-level, 736-space parking garage is also planned.

The development is targeted for completion between May and September 2018.

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