An estimated 200 more office workers will start arriving in downtown Evanston this fall.

The employees of the non-profit UL Research Institutes and UL Standards & Engagement are relocating to the 1603 Orrington office tower from the main UL Solutions campus in Northbrook.

Evanston’s economic development director, Paul Zalmezak, says move-in is tentatively scheduled for the week of Nov. 6.

Signs with the “UL” logo are scheduled to be added to the top of the tower by mid-December.

The City Council approved the signs last November over objections of Ald. Clare Kelly (1st), who said they would “deface” the building.

But Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) said the signs would provide a public benefit — that the prominence of UL would help attract more businesses to Evanston.

The signage helped seal the deal for the organization to lease roughly 53,000 square feet on the top floors of the 300,000 square foot building.

At the time of the Council vote on signage, Steve DeGodny, vice-president for leasing at buliding owner Golub & Company, said the property had had just a 6% vacancy rate in 2019, before COVID, but that had increased to 33%.

The UL lease of just over a sixth of the entire building dramatically improves that picture.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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