Chicago will soon be home to the world’s largest ever Starbucks. In 2019, North Michigan Avenue will have a Starbucks Reserve Roastery measuring 43,000 square feet, spanning four floors, offering customers a “fully sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging.”
The Mayor is wholly supportive of this move, seeing the benefit of the city’s “Magnificent Mile,” which he said “brings in millions of visitors from across this globe.” Rahm Emanuel thus believes it to be the perfect location for a world-class coffee destination.” Further, for the economy as a whole it is a positive move, given that it is making a large investment in Chicago and will be of benefit to locals as well.
The development has been received by other business people as well. For example, Crate and Barrel founder Gordon Segal, commented that it will have a “unique way of becoming a beacon for a brand.” He added that he “can’t think of a better retailer than Starbucks to offer Chicago something new and exciting with its Reserve Roastery.”
Other developments in progress include: One Bennett Park (a 70-floor tower at 451 E. Grand that started building last spring) designed by Robert A.M. Stern, a New York architect; Optima Chicago Center II a 57-story tower at 220 East Illinois.
Although United Airlines has had a rough time this past month dodging bullets in response to last week’s violent treatment of a passenger, quarterly earnings were higher than expected.
United Continental Holdings Inc was forecast to earn 38 cents per share in the first quarter of 2017 by Wall Street analysts. Instead, the major airline company posted 41 cents per share. Revenue was up to $8.42 billion, a 2.7 percent increase from last year, and better than the predicted $8.38 billion.
“In the first quarter of 2017, our financial and operational performance gives us a lot of confidence about the foundation we are building,” stated Oscar Munoz, CEO.
United’s stock closed on Monday afternoon up 2 percent, to $70.77 from its close on Friday. The stock rose even higher in after-hours trading, reaching $71.55 per share, almost back to its previous price before the incident of April 9.
The incident involved cell-phone videos depicting a bloodied passenger being dragged off a United flight by policemen to make room for United personnel. Without venturing into whether United was within their legal rights to call law enforcement to force the man off the plane, the bad publicity was not good for the stock price. Yet, it seems to have taken only a bit more than a week for the shares to bounce back, and the company’s revenues did even better than expected.
The company said that it is hoping for improved customer service in the future.
“It is obvious from recent experiences that we need to do a much better job serving our customers,” Munoz said. “The incident that took place aboard Flight 3411 has been a humbling experience, and I take full responsibility. This will prove to be a watershed moment for our company, and we are more determined than ever to put our customers at the center of everything we do. We are dedicated to setting the standard for customer service among U.S. airlines, as we elevate the experience our customers have with us from booking to baggage claim.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions hunkered down on his threat to halt funding to what are being called “sanctuary cities” in response to the city’s controversial policies regarding treatment of immigrants.
Defiantly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded by reiterating his promise to “continue to welcome” immigrants to Chicago, despite the Attorney General’s threats to block federal money for law enforcement.
“I’ve always seen Chicago as a welcoming city,” Emanuel said in an interview. “It welcomed my grandfather 100 years ago, we continue to welcome entrepreneurs, immigrants, and I would just say think of it this way: Half the new businesses in Chicago and the state of Illinois come from immigrants, nearly half,” he added. “Half the patents at the University of Illinois come from immigrants, and so we want to continue to welcome people, welcome their ideas, welcome their families to the city of Chicago, who want to build the American dream for their children and their grandchildren.”
The Mayor was reacting to Sessions’ announcement that he would order the Department of Justice to make the receiving of federal grants conditional on compliance with immigration law. This statement reinforces the executive order on sanctuary cities that newly elected President Donald Trump signed back in January.
Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc, announced last week that it is planning to close its Aurora, Illinois plant by the end of 2018. The closure will result in the loss of about 800 jobs. The plant makes large-wheel loaders and compactors for construction and other industrial uses.
The facility will retain about 400 of its total 1200 workers, including those in product support and engineers.
Nearly three months ago the company first revealed that it was considering the closure of the plant, which is in a suburb of Chicago, and moving the jobs to different locations in Little Rock, Arkansas and Decatur, Illinois.
The 800 out of work employees will be allowed to apply for positions in other facilities owned by Caterpillar.