Coalition of Franchisee Associations

May 27, 2016

McDonald's Still Stonewalling Press on Leaving Oak Brook

McDonald's leaves door open for move to downtown Chicago - Chicago Tribune


Richard Adams said...

Rumors abound about the Willis (Sears) Tower but some say that's a ruse. Also rumors about Mike Quinlan's Loyola Univ. taking the office campus.

Anonymous said...

Also rumors about the Finkl Steel Site in Lincoln Park.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the City of Chicago Head Tax on every employee, higher rent, higher parking fees. Not a smart move there Mickey D.

Richard Adams said...

This could be a major downsizing. Recognizing that McDonald's is no longer a growth company domestically they may be able to cut out or reduce many development related departments. And there will be many high-paid old time suburban employees who will choose to take retirement rather than suffer the commute.

Richard Adams said...

The article about Finkl Steel mentions a new McDonald's "campus". Doubt we'll see another campus, just rented office space.

Anonymous said...

The facts are unknown about this but several years ago MCD had established a unit, I don't know if it was a separate company or any other facts, but its purpose was to invest into downtown Chicago real estate. I was told that Tony Pearl was the company lead along with some others from MCD real estate. It was all fairly quiet but no one really cared, it was just interesting to hear about at that time. Plus, it sounded like a very good investment by MCD. It would not surprise me to learn that MCD already has important investments in downtown Chicago that could now make a move into the downtown a very smart thing to do. This coupled with continuing to combine various regions may save millions each year.

What is Quinlan's relationship with Loyola?

Richard Adams said...

You are probably onto something. You're referring to "System Capital Corporation", a private entity formed by McDonald's and six of the major suppliers in the mid-1990s.

The purpose of SCC was/is: 1) buy real estate and lease it to McDonald's for restuarants, 2) provide financing for McDonald's Operators and some of the suppliers. If an Operator has a store that McDonald's is leasing and then subletting to the Operator it's possible they are in a property owned by SCC. If the Operator has been a Golden Mac customer they were likely borrowing money provided by SCC.

McDonald's sold their SCC interest back to the six other partners in 2003 which meant SCC became even more clandestine since the vendors involved were all private companies. SCC has endless options since there's no public disclosure required.

This is why, when the Wall Street types bring up the subject of monetizing the real estate, McDonald's management gets highly agitated - they've already done that.

So SCC could be a player in downtown Chicago and could end up being the new office landlord.

You're right that Tony Pearl was involved, in fact while he was running SCC he was still using his Oak Brook e-mail address.

Here's his Bloomberg profile: "Mr. Tony Carleton Pearl serves as a Director of CompuHedge, Ltd. Tony has over 30 years experience in senior management positions, including as VP Treasurer, Freescale Semiconductor; Executive Consultant, Bunge Limited; President and CEO, System Capital Corporation (McDonald's); and Senior VP and Treasurer, McDonald's Corporation."

Who runs SCC today? Who owns SCC today? Who's profiting from SCC? We'll probably never know, they've had 20 years to tighten the lid on their activities.