Second tenant signs on at the former Motorola campus in Libertyville

Mobile services provider Brightstar Corp. plans to move its U.S. regional headquarters and about 340 employees to Innovation Park Lake County, the former Motorola campus in Libertyville.

The move won't be much of a stretch for the company, as its current headquarters sits nearby in a business park at 850 Technology Way.

But as the second tenant of the mammoth Innovation Park, Brightstar is considered a potential trigger for more activity on the campus along Route 45 just south of Winchester Road.

"Since that lease was signed we now have six proposals out," said Mercedes Merritt, vice president of leasing for BECO South & BECO Midwest, which operates a similar campus in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"We're really ramping up at this point," she added.

Privately held Brightstar distributes and services mobile phones and other devices for more than 200 carriers, 40,000 retailers and 15,000 other customers worldwide. Much of that is business-to-business activities, such as holding stock for carriers and retailers or providing insurance and repair services, according to spokesman Jeremy Thorp.

Brightstar executives decided to make the move about six weeks ago. The lease begins May 1, when the company will occupy 64,000 square feet on two floors. Warehouse facilities down the street from Innovation Park at 1001 Technology Way and 1950 USG Drive will remain in operation, he added.

This isn't considered an expansion, Thorp said, but a company desire to provide "a better employee experience" by moving to the well-appointed Innovation Park.

"Having a facility like this located so close to our current office makes the decision to move a no-brainer," he said.

After Motorola's stunning departure, Maryland-based developer BECO Management Inc. bought the property in 2014 and promised a multi-tenant workplace "unlike any other anywhere," according to promotional materials.

The company spent $10 million repurposing the 1.1 million-square-foot facility and grounds and plans to invest tens of millions more as spaces are built out for tenants and other amenities added.

Those have or will include a fitness center, gym, group exercise and locker rooms, dry cleaner, chiropractic and massage rooms, a bistro-style eating area, coffee and juice bars, shuttle buses and on-site bicycles.

"When they (Brightstar) move in they'll have an almost 5,000-square-foot game room with a golf simulator," Merritt said.

Valent BioSciences Corporation in April 2016 was the first announced tenant. The firm, which also has a facility on Technology Way, plans to spend $27 million to consolidate and expand operations for its global headquarters for research and development. Construction is underway.

"Innovation Park has created a space for expansion for Libertyville and Lake County (companies) that are looking for a facility that provides a corporate identity and resource and amenities their employees desire," said Heather Rowe, Libertyville economic development coordinator.

  Libertyville mobile services company Brightstar Corp. plans to leave its regional headquarters on Technology Way for a space in the nearby Innovation Park Lake County. Paul Valade/
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