Indiana-based MonoSol, the maker of water-soluable film used in laundry pods, is adding a technology center in Chicago's Fulton Market District.
The center will add at least 24 jobs.
MonoSol, with headquarters in Merrillville, has signed a lease for just more than 35,000 square feet in Chicago. The sustainable material science company will open the new space around the middle of next year in the building, which is now 98 percent leased to a mix of life-sciences and other lab-based users.
The deal is not just a victory for developers Trammell Crow, but it's also another example for Chicago officials to cite when talking about the city's corporate recruitment prowess. MonoSol is a particularly helpful boost for building owners in the trendy Fulton Market neighborhood, which is a burgeoning hub for science-focused companies.
MonoSol, a division of Japanese specialty chemical company Kuraray Group, was hunting for a new research and development space as it outgrew its capacity in Merrillville, said Matthew Vander Laan, MonoSol's vice president of corporate affairs and strategic planning. After a nationwide search, the company chose Chicago to remain close to its handful of manufacturing plants in Indiana and make it more easily accessible for its customers.
Being in Fulton Market "is also very attractive in terms of [employee] recruitment and retention," Vander Laan said. He said the company will likely have roughly 24 to 48 employees and clients working out of the innovation center most days.
Originally founded in 1953 with a small factory in Portage, Ind., MonoSol's business grew rapidly just more than a decade ago when its water-soluble polyvinyl alchohol made single-dose detergents like Tide Pods possible. The company, which was acquired by Kuraray in 2012, works with most major brands that make similar products today.
MonoSol has also found many other commercial uses for its technology, including packaging for protein pods and nutritional supplements and water soluble liners used in giant molds for solid surface and quartz countertops. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals used MonoSol's water-soluble laundry bags, which could be thrown into a washing machine without having to remove soiled linens.