Office Depot picks Fla., not Ill. for headquarters

Office Depot picks Fla. for headquarters, Ill. lawmakers `disappointed`

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BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - Office Depot has picked Florida for its global headquarters, choosing Boca Raton over the Illinois home of its merger partner OfficeMax.

Last month Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax completed their $1.2 billion merger and took the name Office Depot. OfficeMax was based in Naperville, while Office Depot is in Boca Raton.

In mid-November, Office Depot named Roland Smith as its new CEO. The company said he'd help decide where the combined company would be based.

Smith says in a statement Tuesday that after assessing its options the company determined Boca Raton provided a way for it to drive better profitability and reach planned savings.

Office Depot looked at a number of factors before making its decision, including the cost to run each location, lease obligations, government incentives and tax implications.

Illinois lawmakers who sponsored legislation offering tax incentives for companies like newly merged OfficeMax and Office Depot say they're disappointed the company is moving its corporate headquarters to Florida.

Illinois State Sen. Tom Cullerton backed a bill encouraging the company to consider Illinois in exchange for creating 200 jobs. It passed the Senate but House lawmakers adjourned after approving landmark pension reform.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was also disappointed. He is concerned for the families that will be impacted by the decision and the jobs the region will lose with the move.

"While there is no guarantee the Office Max decision would have been different had we passed legislation giving them enhanced EDGE tax credits last week," Durkin said, "their departure is further proof that we have more work to do in terms of improving our overall business climate and need to revisit criteria for the EDGE program."

Cullerton says Illinois needs a better approach to business retention.

Rep. Mike Zalewski sponsored a similar bill. He says it was a case of bad timing with the pension vote.

FOX 32 News contributed to this report.

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