JOLIET, IL — The Joliet Union Station was built in 1912 and the limestone building made the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Now, one of Joliet’s most famous architectural landmarks has added another tenant. Joliet resident Hudson Hollister’s technology company, HData, has moved into an office space in the building’s first-floor.
HData signed a lease with the city of Joliet, which owns Union Station. Hollister, founder and CEO of HData, signed a three-year lease agreement with the city, paying $550 per month in rent.
According to the HData website, “our partners include the world’s largest open database of corporate registrations, the only anti-fraud analytics platform that automatically analyzes every U.S. federal contract, the world’s first evidence-based social impact measurement firm, and other leaders in RegTech and LegalTech.”
A one-of-a-kind technology firm operating in downtown Joliet?
Believe it. It’s true.
“We recruit from all over the Chicago area so it made sense to be in the Union Station,” Hollister told Joliet Patch’s editor last week.
According to his business profile, “Hudson is a securities lawyer, former regulator, former Congressional investigator, and trade association executive. He has invested his career in applying technological innovations to make regulation, government, and law work better.”
The advantage of operating within downtown Joliet’s Union Station is that there are three major train lines passing through: two Metra lines and one Amtrak line, Hollister said.
“Plus, it’s historic,” he said. “So the building combines modern open spaces with traditional architecture.”
Last week, Hollister, along with HData communications and marketing manager Justin Duncan and company intern, Evan Mitchell, were hard at work inside HData’s new office digs in downtown Joliet. A fourth HData employee, Cindy Kahr, was working remotely. Kahr is a former vice president at J.P. Morgan.
Duncan’s bio indicates he is a veteran of Capitol Hill who “is a brand strategist and digital content expert and has focused his career on clarifying and communicating complex subjects.”
If HData prospers, Hollister told Patch he would like to expand and hire more people.
“Realistically, one or two more in a year’s time,” he said.
HData becomes the city of Joliet’s second major tenant inside Union Station.
The other tenant is fairly well known: MyGrain Brewing Company opened in September 2017.
In the coming weeks, HData expects to have a business sign displayed near the main entrance for Union Station.
“We’re in the process of getting a sign up now,” Hollister said. “A lot of it’s for recruiting. We want to recruit data scientists and tech engineers and these professionals want a downtown environment to work in.”
Hollister is a major supporter of downtown Joliet.
“Having MyGrain is definitely a positive, and there are so many restaurants that you can go to all without driving,” he said last week. “Downtown, it’s a good place to work and live and I’d like to see more people discover it.
“I see a lot of pedestrians on the street, even despite the pandemic.”
To learn more about HData, visit the company website here.