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Historic Sears Headquarters District Finds New Life


Chicago, Il. (WebWire) November 6, 2006 -- Celebrating its centenary, the historic Sears Catalog Plant district is now transcending into a new era. Serving as the original Sears Roebuck and Co. world headquarters from 1906 to 1973, the district boasts a long history of research and development accomplishments including a catalog publishing plant, testing laboratories, automobile insurance (original home of Allstate Insurance) and one of the nation’s first radio stations (WLS).

Today the area is a National Landmark district known as Homan Square. Continuing the innovative tradition of the Catalog Plant, it is Chicago’s newest technology-based community. A $30-million Community Center developed by the late Charles H. Shaw is the crowning achievement of this area featuring free WiFi for the entire neighborhood.

Beyond the technology initiatives, Homan Square boasts a central location within Chicagoland. Located in North Lawndale, the neighborhood is in the heart of the City’s West Side. Only ten minutes from downtown (about 4.5 miles), the Rapid Transit serves this section (Blue Line) and the Eisenhower Expressway. Douglas and Garfield Park surround it. Just as importantly, the second largest employment node in Illinois is only a few minutes directly east (the University of Illinois and the Illinois Medical District).

The Real Estate Capital Institute is a specific example of technology-based organizations moving into Homan Square. The Institute will occupy the original Sears Tower. Located in the heart of the area at the intersection of Arthington Street and Homan Avenue, the 14-story structure is a 100-year-old national landmark, otherwise known as the “Old” and “First” Sears Tower. This landmark is the oldest skyscraper outside downtown Chicago. Notes Nat Zvislo, research director of the Institute, “the area has a small community feel within a big-city environment -- a true neighborhood.”

The Real Estate Capital Institute selected this community as its headquarters for a myriad of reasons. The Institute is a national research organization using fully automated communications for processing real estate capital market data. As a result, its workforce needs to be close to downtown and “tech" neighborhoods such as Wicker Park. Enough parking and close public transportation access were also important factors.

For more information about the Homan Square area, please visit The Real Estate Capital Institute’s website is



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