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Peapod Moving HQ to Chicago from Suburbs

Grocery delivery service Peapod, an Ahold USA company, has plans to move its headquarters to downtown Chicago from the suburb of Skokie, Ill., the Chicago Tribune has reported.

The move, which could affect 180 employees, will put all corporate employees in one location, “hopefully by the end of the year,” Peapod Chief Technology Officer Thomas Parkinson told attendees May 10 at the ITA Chicago Tech Summit. According to the newspaper, Peapod has roughly 300 corporate workers in the Chicago area, including about 120 in IT who are based at the Civic Opera Building downtown. The rest work at the Skokie headquarters.

Over the past decade, 50 companies have moved their headquarters from the Chicago suburbs to the city, the Financial Times (FT) has noted. Some of the more noteworthy ones to recently move or announce their intent to move include McDonald’s, which will relocate downtown in 2018; Conagra Brands, which merged its Omaha operations with its suburban Chicago office to create a new head office downtown; and Kraft Heinz, which moved downtown last year.

A major reason such companies are moving to Chicago from its suburbs is that younger, college-educated people moving there, too. The number of Chicago residents oldet than 25 years old with a college degree rose from 19 percent in 1990 to 33 percent in 2010, FT reported. Companies are seeking this demographic and making the move to position themselves as more appealing for employment: This demographic desires culture and convenience, including the ability to walk or take public transportation to work, and to have access to more wellness facilities and other amenities.

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