Office Depot has picked Florida for its world headquarters, choosing Boca Raton over Naperville with merger partner OfficeMax. With Office Max based in Naperville, and Office Depot based in Boca Raton, the merged companies need only one headquarters. The senator who sponsored a $53 million tax incentive package intended to get the company to pick Naperville is disappointed but would not call the state a bad place to do business.
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“We just need to make some small corrections,” says State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), noting the Office Max boss praised everything about Illinois. The combined company is called Office Depot Inc. The incentive package passed the Senate last week but never got a vote in the House; Cullerton could not say why, nor could he say how much of a factor that inaction was in the company’s decision. In Florida’s favor are the facts the governor has a discretionary fund from which to offer incentives; the companies’ facility there is larger and has more time remaining on its lease than is the case for its Naperville facility; and other factors out of Illinois’ control.
“Maybe we caught the new CEO on another two-degree day,” Cullerton joked. Cullerton holds out hope Office Depot Inc. can still choose Chicago for warehousing and distribution, and that it can maintain call centers already operating in Ottawa and Peru.