Caterpillar Inc. will be in good company when it moves its global headquarters from Peoria to Deerfield in coming months.
"It all comes down to access to O'Hare, ease of commute, good housing and good schools," Rosenthal said.
Caterpillar, which makes construction equipment, engines, turbines and diesel-electric locomotives, said Wednesday it reached a multiyear lease deal with Corporate 500 office park at 510 Lake-Cook Road in Deerfield.
About 100 employees will relocate this year from Peoria to Deerfield. The new Lake County headquarters will ultimately house about 300 workers by mid-2018. Besides the top executives, departments to move will include human resources, finance, communications and support staff. And workers are expected to remain in outlying offices in Aurora, LaGrange and downtown Chicago.
The company was been quiet about its move since it announced in January plans to relocate to the Chicago suburbs.
"They were very discreet about when they were looking here and they only spoke with their brokers," Rosenthal said. "We only learned about it when Caterpillar told us we were on the short list."
The company did not receive any incentives from Deerfield, Lake County or the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, spokesmen said.
"This is a huge win for us in Lake County, not just because Caterpillar is moving here, but because it's an endorsement of our economic development strategy," said Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, who is also a board member of Lake County Partners, the area's economic development organization.
Caterpillar looked at about 20 towns and felt that Deerfield offered the best access to global transportation with O'Hare and the local expressways, said Caterpillar spokeswoman Corrie Heck Scott. She declined to say what other towns were under consideration.
"This site gives our employees many options to live in either an urban or suburban environment. We know we have to compete for the best talent to grow our company, and this location will appeal to our diverse, global team, today and in the future," Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said about Deerfield in a statement.
Caterpillar had several local mayors and economic development officials speculating about where the new headquarters would be located. Some suggested DuPage County or south suburban Oak Lawn as possibilities.
Also since the company decided to move, it said it will not build a new, previously announced headquarters complex in downtown Peoria. The current Peoria building will continue to be used for Caterpillar offices, Scott said.
It was reported in earlier this year that Caterpillar's continued vows to stay in Peoria changed due to lost revenue and a decline in the industry. It has cut about 16,000 employees in recent years and saved about $2.3 billion. But its sales and revenues for last year were about 40 percent below its peak in 2012.