Good move on JJP's part. It is always good to be near the competition. Find the central hub for your business and locate there.
When customers go shopping they are going to go where the action is at. This is why you see car dealerships clustered in one area of town; Or maybe two areas of town. You WANT to be next to Honest Charlies' used car lot so when people get tired of looking for cars there then they will come to your lot and look around.
If you opted to open your car lot 3 miles south of town for the cheaper rent you will eat away at your cost savings with all the advertising you will have to buy just so people will know where you are at.
And as one poster noted, it is easier to poach the competition's help. I don't know about Illinois, but in Kansas, a company cannot put a factory worker into a non-compete clause. If you lost your job in one company and were bound by non-compete you would have to find a job in fast food or leave the state for another job. If Stern's factory workers are not bound by non-compete then Stern might have to raise their wages to keep them from jumping ship; Good for the employees but it might drive pinball prices up
My town: Cessna Aircraft is on the southeast side. Beech Aircraft is 5 miles away on the northeast side. The other Cessna plant is on the southwest side of town just a couple of miles south of the Learjet plant.
I worked at Beech. I knew people at Lear and Cessna. Some people worked at Lear and moved to Cessna. Some worked at Cessna and moved to Beech.
We have hundreds of machine shops in town that service the aircraft industry. When I was a buyer, I could drive across town and visit a supplier to discuss a problem issue with a part. On the way back I could stop at another supplier and see how production was going.
There was some consolidation and Textron which owns Bell Helicopter and Cessna bought Beech 6 years ago. Before the consolidation, I was working with a lady who was fired from Cessna; She applied and was hired at Beech. About a year later, the woman who fired her got a job at Beech and found out she was the supervisor over the lady that she had fired over at Cessna
Boeing used to be here building the heavy jets you all fly in, but Boeing sold all of its manufacturing assets to a company named Spirit. Spirit is an independent company but 70% / 80% of its business is making 737s for Boeing ( the 737 Max grounding has caused Spirit to lay off 2800 workers).
Airbus opened an Engineering office downtown a few years ago because this is where a lot of aircraft engineering talent lives.
If you want to be an aircraft engineer this is where you come for a job.
Good move by JJP. Chicago is where all of the resources are.