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ITASCA, IL-OfficeMax Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters, although the company says it will relocate somewhere in the Chicago suburbs. The office products and services company has maintained its corporate headquarters at 150 E. Pierce Rd. here, with its retail operations based in Shaker Heights, OH.

The decision came down to economics as well as geography, as the state of Illinois is offering a $20-million investment package to keep the company, and ultimately 1,500 jobs. Transferring retail operations from suburban Cleveland could mean 700 jobs alone, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The package includes corporate income tax credits over the next 10 years, a Large Business Development Program grant and Employer Training Investment Program money.

The split was a result of OfficeMax, which traces its roots to Cleveland, being acquired by Boise Cascade Corp. in 2003. While the company hopes to settle on a location next month, the move of the Shaker Heights, OH retail operations is expected to take place next year. At least two northwest suburbs reportedly are offering incentive packages of their own to land the OfficeMax headquarters.

“Bringing our headquarters’ associates together is a normal progression of the company’s integration efforts and we believe it will facilitate customer service as well provide better support for our retail and contract businesses,” says president and chief executive officer Sam Duncan.

In addition to a 196,000-sf office building near the I-290/Route 53 interchange at Thorndale Avenue, OfficeMax also occupies a 249,000-sf flex building at 800 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. that includes 81,000 sf of office space.

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