Deerfield, Ill., (indicated by the black dot) will be the new home of Caterpillar’s corporate headquarters.

When earlier this year, Caterpillar announced that it would move its corporate headquarters and senior executives into a new global HQ in the Chicago area, a lot of people probably visualized a large Cat sign dominating one of the spires of the city’s fabled downtown.

Instead, the company has announced that the new corporate headquarters will be located in Deerfield, Illinois, a northern Chicago suburb. Approximately 25 miles from the downtown Chicago area — and 181 miles northeast of Peoria —  the new headquarters building is near O’Hare International Airport, is centrally located near major interstates and offers direct access to the Chicago Metra light rail system.

“Following a thorough site selection process, we chose this location because it is approximately a 20-minute drive to O’Hare airport and convenient to the city of Chicago via commuter train, achieving our goal to be more accessible to our global customers, dealers and employees,” said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. “This site gives our employees many options to live in either an urban or suburban environment. We know we have to compete for the best talent to grow our company, and this location will appeal to our diverse, global team, today and in the future.”

Caterpillar reached a multi-year leasing agreement with the Corporate 500 office park. The company expects about 100 employees to relocate this year, with about 300 people in the new headquarters when fully operational in mid-2018.

The new Deerfield offices and the company’s growing Digital & Analytics Hub in Chicago’s downtown Merchandise Mart, which opened in 2016, add to Caterpillar’s 60-year presence in the Chicago-area. 

Caterpillar’s new HQ will be in the Corporate 500 office park in Deerfield, Ill.

“The transition from Peoria to the new global headquarters will begin later this year. As we’ve previously indicated, the vast majority of our employees currently in the Peoria area will not be relocating to our new headquarters,” said Umpleby. “With our strong presence of over 12,000 employees in central Illinois, we’ll continue our philanthropic support and civic involvement.”