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Firm that tests NFL players moving to new field

(Crain’s) — Wonderlic Inc., the intelligence testing firm well known for its work with the National Football League, is moving its headquarters to Vernon Hills. Wonderlic has leased 26,116 square feet at 400 N. Lakeview Parkway in the Continental Executive Parke in the north suburb and will move there early next year. The company is leaving its longtime home at 1795 Butterfield Road in Libertyville, where the firm occupies a slightly smaller space.

The family-owned firm, whose tests are also used by schools and by companies to assess job candidates and employees, moved because its current lease is expiring. Wonderlic wanted to stay in the northern suburbs but also sought to upgrade its surroundings without taking on much higher rent, says Corey Chase, a principal with Podolsky Northtar CORFAC Intl. who represented Wonderlic.

“This one (400 N. Lakeview) was kind of in the sweet spot of what they were looking for,” Mr. Chase says.

Wonderlic signed an eight-year lease. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, though net asking rent for the building is $14.50 a square foot, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc.

The new space is in a two-story, 46,000-square-foot building built in 1999 as the headquarters of Baxter Credit Union. The credit union moved to a larger location about two years ago, and Wonderlic is the first new tenant. The company will take the entire second floor while an affiliated firm, Ameristar Financial Co., will occupy a small space on the first floor.

Originally, the building was marketed to single-tenant users. But owner Pacific Realty Associates L.P., changed course in the last year and started marketing the space as divisible, as long as the first tenant took at least one floor, says Michael Flynn, an executive vice-president with NAI Hiffman who represents the landlord.

Mr. Flynn says Portland, Ore.-based Pacific Realty, known as PacTrust, doesn’t have a mortgage on the property, putting it in a better position than many other office landlords these days. PacTrust also owns two other buildings in the Continental office park.

Wonderlic personnel tests were first distributed in 1937 by Eldon F. Wonderlic, and the U.S. Navy used his tests during World War II in the selection of candidates for pilot training. Today, the firm provides testing for Mensa International, a high-IQ society.

Legendary Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry played a big role in the firm’s work with the NFL, as Mr. Landry found that Wonderlic scores helped reveal how well players could learn a playbook and adapt to changes, according to Wonderlic’s Web site.

Source: ChicagoBusiness.com

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