Benchmark Commercial Lending

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Chicago, Illinois (Expansion Office)

Chicago, the seat of Illinois's Cook County and the third largest city in the country, is the focus of a consolidated metropolitan statistical area that covers the primary metropolitan statistical areas of Gary, Indiana; Kankakee, Illinois; and Kenosha, Wisconsin. "Brawling" was the word Carl Sandburg applied to Chicago in his poem about the city. No longer the "Hog Butcher for the World," at the dawn of the twenty-first century, Chicago is still an enthusiastically combative city with a lively political life. A railroad hub in the latter half of the nineteenth century, when its population had already reached 300,000 people, Chicago became a major force in the nation's development. Today, it is a national transportation, industrial, telecommunications, and financial leader as well as a city of great architectural significance, ethnic diversity, and cultural wealth. The only inland urban area to rank with major East and West Coast metropolises, Chicago has achieved international status through the quality of its cultural institutions and its position as a world financial center.