As soon as a location can be firmed up, Caterpillar will begin to move its executives and support staff to new Chicago headquarters this fall, per Amy Campbell, director of investor releations during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials & EU Autos Conference in London.
"The goal is to move really the first flush of officers and their support teams in the late third quarter, early fourth quarter. And then we'll start to see employees start to move over the next 18 months," said Campbell.
The company's new global headquarters will be only 300 people, 100 located in Chicago by the end of this year with the rest to follow within 18 months.
The courting for Cat's new headquarters began as soon as the announcement was made by Caterpillar CEO James Umpleby. The Tribune reported DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin contacted Umpleby, offering to work with the company's relocation team and stressing the county's "convenient, hassle-free access" to O'Hare Airport when the Western Access O'Hare Project is complete. The estimated $3.4 billion roadway project is being constructed in stages until 2025 with a ramp into O'Hare as soon as 2019, according to the Illinois Tollway.
Some speculation is that Caterpillar will locate in the West Loop, as other high profile firms have done recently. No incentives have been made public by Chicago officials as yet.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico has made a public pitch for the company's headquarters to relocate to his city. "They're in the earth-moving business, and we say around here that (in) Naperville we move heaven," Chirico said. "So together, we can move heaven and earth."
Never to be left out, Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens has also been considering enticements to bring Cat to the village. Cat has made it clear it intends to rent office space rather than build or buy, and Rosemont has rooms to let.