Fer­rara Candy in ne­go­ti­a­tions to move HQ

Could be sec­ond Chicago com­pany in Old Post Of­fice

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BUSINESS - By Ally Marotti amarotti@chicagotri­bune.com

Fer­rara Candy, the maker of Nerds and Ju­jyfruits, is ne­go­ti­at­ing to move its 300-per­son cor­po­rate head­quar­ters into the Old Post Of­fice from west subur­ban Oak­brook Ter­race.

The can­dy­maker is ne­go­ti­at­ing a lease in the build­ing at 433 W. Van Buren St., ac­cord­ing to a source fa­mil­iar with the deal.

If the deal is fi­nal­ized, Fer­rara would be­come the sec­ond Chicago-area busi­ness with in­ten­tions to move em­ploy­ees from the sub­urbs into the 2.8 mil­lion­square-foot Old Post Of­fice, which is un­der­go­ing a mas­sive over­haul. In June, Wal­greens said it planned to move 1,800 em­ploy­ees to the build­ing, most from its Deer­field head­quar­ters.

Fer­rara spokes­woman Sarah Kit­tel said the cor­po­rate re­lo­ca­tion to Chicago is set to oc­cur next year. She de­clined to con­firm the lo­ca­tion.

“While we have not fi­nal­ized a lease with any lo­ca­tion, we re­main im­pressed by the fu­ture vi­sion for the Old Post Of­fice, and be­lieve it would re­flect the brand, cul­ture and com­mu­nity we’re build­ing for the next chap­ter at Fer­rara,” she said in an emailed state­ment.

Ear­lier this year, Fer­rara was ne­go­ti­at­ing a lease for about 60,000 square feet in a re­cently com­pleted of­fice build­ing at 625 W. Adams St., ac­cord­ing to sources.

A move to the his­toric Old Post Of­fice build­ing, owned by 601W Cos., would re­lo­cate the com­pany roughly 2 miles from its birth­place.

Fer­rara Candy started in Chicago’s Lit­tle Italy neigh­bor­hood in 1908, sell­ing sugar-coated al­monds, a pop­u­lar Ital­ian wed­ding treat. Fer­rara says it is the third-largest can­dy­maker in the United States, with more than $2 bil­lion in an­nual sales. The com­pany was ac­quired last year by Fer­rero, the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer of Nutella and Tic Tac candy.

If fi­nal­ized, the deal would be a win for the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a state­ment.

“An iconic Chicago busi­ness mov­ing to an iconic Chicago build­ing would mark a ma­jor new in­vest­ment in Chicago’s econ­omy,” he said.

CHRIS WALKER/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE

Fer­rara Candy, the maker of Le­mon­heads, Nerds, and other can­dies, will move head­quar­ters into the Old Post Of­fice.

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