MARION – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) announced Wednesday that the State of Illinois has received a donation of an office building at 912 Pentecost Road, Marion, Illinois, from a limited liability company managed by Bob Blettner of the Blettner Group. The office building property, valued and recently appraised at $4.5 million, is approximately 51,000 square feet, and can accommodate 400 employees. It is a Class A office building in move-in condition, with many well-furnished areas, smart digital controls, energy efficient HVAC and lighting, a backup generator, and the latest fiber optic service.
“Thanks to the generosity of Bob Blettner and the Blettner Group, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is getting a new home in Marion—providing DCFS staff with a modernized facility and streamlined operations,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This acquisition will further allow DCFS staff to do the work that matters most: helping the children and families of Illinois thrive. My administration has prioritized maintaining a real estate portfolio that is efficient, sustainable, and cost-conscious—and this new office building furthers those efforts.”
The receipt of this property will allow the State the opportunity to provide upgraded facilities for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and one or more other State agencies. Currently, DCFS has two facilities in the Marion area, and the donated property will offer much improved space that will provide considerable operational savings and efficiencies. In addition, CMS will seek to consolidate additional leases in the area resulting in a potential annual savings of up to $1 million.
“This office space will have a positive impact on the families that we serve every day,” said Illinois DCFS Director Marc D. Smith. “For families to receive the best outcomes it is critical that they feel comfortable receiving services and engaging with our staff. We are very thankful for the Blettner Group’s generosity.”
“Thanks to this generous donation, we will be able to save the taxpayers money while also improving access to important State services for area residents,” said State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “Securing this state-of-the-art building is an opportunity that doesn’t come around often. I appreciate the Pritzker Administration for making this a priority and getting this deal done in time to make it a reality.”
“The generosity of The Blettner Group in donating this high-class facility will mean a more comfortable environment for families interacting with DCFS and a more professional place for the good people providing these services to work in,” said State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton). “DCFS is gaining a world-class facility. That will lead to better outcomes for DCFS employees and families and children interacting with the agency.”
“It is heartening to see private and public entities cooperate in this way,” said State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis). “The transfer of this building will mean better facilities for the professionals serving the needs of the people of the State of Illinois. A world-class office building like this will improve outcomes for children and families interacting with DCFS and provide public servants a professional environment where they can succeed.”
“Any time we can improve the facilities that our partners at DCFS are using to provide better services to families and children, I’m all for it,” said State Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona). “In this case, a Class A office building is being donated to the state, and a building otherwise not being used will be occupied by hard working people providing critical services to our citizens. This is a win-win.”
Since the beginning of his administration, Governor Pritzker directed CMS to optimize the State’s real estate portfolio and reduce operating expenses. CMS is responsible for the management of over 800 leased and owned facilities throughout the State and is continuously analyzing this portfolio to meet operational needs while maximizing efficiencies.
CMS continues to realign the State’s real estate portfolio to maximize space utilization in state-owned and leased properties. The effort to identify efficiency improvements and space consolidation will result in a reduction of nearly 650,000 square feet of office space in downtown Chicago alone, saving over $20M annually as a result of lowering operating costs and terminating private high-cost leases.
In Springfield, the State is undertaking several capital projects to repurpose and consolidate space including the renovation of the historic Illinois State Armory, which will maximize space utilization by creating efficient and flexible office spaces for State’s operations while incorporating green and sustainable strategies. State will also construct a new certified Central Computing Facility to create a cutting-edge, Tier III data center to support the State’s efforts to modernize and respond to evolving technology. The State will renovate the existing data center structure, adopt the new space standards, and repurpose it for State operations.
As for a move in date, CMS is in the process of working with state agencies to determine timing and best use of the new space. A final timeline will be established after this needs assessment.
(Information provided by the Illinois Department of Central Management.)