Motorola is offering full relocation packages for employees affected by a looming office move—all the way from Libertyville, Ill., to new offices 35 miles away in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The electronics manufacturer is one of several large U.S. corporations leaving suburban office parks for new digs downtown, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
In Chicago alone, Motorola, United Airlines and Hillshire Brands are moving back to the center city, eager to tap into the urban vibe, transportation options and sense of community that younger employees value.
In Atlanta, Coca-Cola is transferring several hundred employees from suburban outposts to company HQ downtown. Pinterest says it will ditch its Silicon Valley campus for new office space in downtown San Francisco.
Winners in the nascent urban rebound: Downtown commercial real estate brokers, who report vacancy rates 5% lower than their suburban colleagues nationwide.
Possible losers: Older employees who are already established in the suburbs, with mortgages and kids in school. They’re facing rougher commutes, too.
Still, Motorola expects only 2% of employees will quit instead of transferring to Chicago.