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The Challenge

In 2013, Method Products, a manufacturer of environmentally-friendly home and personal care products, needed a home for its first company-owned factory. Method sought a location that would support its mission to create high-quality, environmentally-friendly cleaning products and contribute to urban renewal and revitalization. Method’s criteria included a mandate to achieve LEED Platinum® certification for the facility and the ability to construct a 230-foot wind turbine on-site. Method looked to Cushman & Wakefield to understand its unique situation and needs. But identifying an ideal site would require innovative thinking and broad expertise across all aspects of the engagement.

The Solution

Cushman & Wakefield specialists from multiple disciplines, including Andy Mace and Matt Poreba of the Strategic Consulting practice, formulated a strategy that prioritized urban locations and environmentally impacted or reclaimed sites that also met traditional site selection drivers (e.g., favorable cost structure, accelerated development timeline, and supportive community and government stakeholders). Following an introduction to the client by Steven Watt, COO of EMEA Logistics & Industrial, the industrial brokerage team of Al Caruana and Britt Casey coordinated the process to evaluate more than 100 sites in a five-state search area that aligned with Method’s supply chain drivers. A rigorous process to identify and negotiate business incentives was led by Betty McIntosh of Cushman & Wakefield’s Business Incentives practice. “The ability to put together an advisory team consisting of three world-class service lines from Cushman & Wakefield was essential to ensuring the success of this project for Method,” said Al Caruana. “We were able to make the necessary expertise available to our client, and we worked together seamlessly to move this project forward in a way that exceeded Method’s high expectations.”

Only a handful of the candidate sites met the project’s unique requirements. After due diligence efforts, the team quickly identified and secured the winning location, an optimally located, 22-acre site in the historic manufacturing hub of Chicago’s Pullman Park. Cushman & Wakefield worked with site representatives, engineering firms, permitting agencies and the City of Chicago to streamline the development process and implementation timeline. The responsiveness and problem-solving expertise of City of Chicago personnel was instrumental in the final site selection decision-making.

“From the very start of the project, the Cushman & Wakefield team was challenged to collaborate across disciplines to understand Method’s vision for the facility and develop unique solutions to realize it.”

The chosen site was owned by Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (“CNI”), a not-for-profit developer represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Kathleen Nelson and Larry Goldwasser. Kathleen and Larry worked closely with CNI and the City’s Department of Planning and Development to revise the property’s planned development ordinance to accommodate Method’s intended operations.

The Result

Within just six months of engaging Cushman & Wakefield, Method successfully acquired the 22-acre Pullman Park brownfield site and secured potential economic development incentives valued at over $10 million. The new $30 million, LEED Platinum® facility has created new jobs and a more stable and sustainable economy while contributing to the revival of Chicago’s declining manufacturing sector. “Logistics & Industrial Services at Cushman & Wakefield works closely with clients to understand their Supply Chain and Real Estate needs and deliver integrated, strategic solutions. Our success with clients, like Method, is rooted in our collaboration across the platform,” said John Morris, Head of Logistics & Industrial Services. It will also contribute fresh produce to local consumers through its rooftop lease of 75,000 square feet for Gotham Greens’ greenhouse.

Perhaps most importantly, Method has become an integral partner with the local community, a partnership rooted in their values-driven vision to create positive social and environmental outcomes through their products and mission.

“From the very start of the project, the Cushman & Wakefield team was challenged to collaborate across disciplines to understand Method’s vision for the facility and develop unique solutions to realize it. Throughout the process, we were keenly aware of the special opportunity this project gave us to help such a purpose-driven company make a difference in so many meaningful ways,” said Andy Mace.